Sunday, September 11, 2011

NNPC, agency may collide over penalty

9 September 2011

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) may be on a collision course with the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) over a N21.5 million oil spill penalty.

The oil spill monitoring agency had accused the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company Limited (PPMC), the NNPC subsidiary responsibility for the storage, marketing and distribution of petroleum products in the country, of failure to report an oil spill incident involving one of its pipelines in the Niger Delta.

The incident reportedly occurred on May 24 this year on the company's Trunk 2A Pipeline Right of Way (ROW) in Eko-Amukpe in Sapele Local Government Area of Delta State.

According to the Director General/Chief Executive of NOSDRA, Peter Idabor, the NNPC subsidiary neglected to notify the oil spill monitoring agency of the incident until last July 7 in contravention of the provisions of section 6 (2) Act 15 of 2006 establishing the agency.

The provisions of the Act stipulates a penalty of N500,000 every day if an organisation fails to report the occurrence of an oil spill incident in its facility to NOSDRA.

"An oil spiller is by this Act to report an oil spill incident to the agency (NOSDRA) in writing not later than 24 hours after the occurrence of an oil spill, in default of which the failure to report shall attract a penalty in the sum of Five Hundred Thousand Naira (N500, 000.00) for each day of failure," Mr. Idahor quoted in his letter.

In the letter, the NOSDRA boss informed the NNPC subsidiary of a sanction in the sum of N21.5 million, representing the total of a daily penalty of N500,000 for delaying to report to the agency on the oil spillage at the company's facility in Delta State.

"The failure, delay and non-compliant attitude of the PPMC in reporting the oil spill incident until July 7 of this year amounted to contravention of section 6 (2) of Act 15 of 2006 establishing the agency," Mr. Idabor declared.

While urging the PPMC to act expeditiously on the demand that the amount be remitted into NOSDRA's account within 21 days from the date of receipt of the letter, he said it should act with seriousness and the highest ethical standard expected of an establishment of its repute in the country's petroleum industry.

Calls in Abuja Friday to the PPMC for official reaction over the incident were not answered. The General Manager, Group Public Affairs, NNPC, Levi Ajuonuma, also did not pick his call.

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