Sunday, September 11, 2011

Nosdra Boss Defends Agency's Role

5 September 2011

Crude oil exploration has witnessed an upward growth since the commodity was first discovered in the country in the 1950s. While it has sustained the Nigerian economy, oil exploration activities have taken a toll on the Nigerian environment. One such consequence is the effect of oil spillage on the terrestrial and aquatic life.

The National Policy for the Environment outlines a broad spectrum of environmental issues that require definite attention and action by all stakeholders. Among these is the critical concern on oil pollution emanating from spills, oil well blow-outs, pipeline vandalism, and equipment failure.

The National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency, NOSDRA, was established in 2006 as an institutional framework to co-ordinate the implementation of National Oil Spill Contingency Plan, NOSCP, in accordance with the International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Cooperation (OPRC 90) to which Nigeria is a signatory.

NOSDRA is, therefore, the lead agency of government in ensuring timely, effective and appropriate response to oil spills, through clean up and remediation of all impacted sites to all best practical extent.
Idabor disclosed the Federal Government's White Paper on the UNEP Report is expected in the next few weeks. "Now, all effort is directed towards going in and ensuring a proper remedial clean-up exercise that will bring back some level of normalcy in the area, beginning with the provision of clean, potable water for use by the people of the area."

He further announced that as an outcome of a preliminary meeting with Governor Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State, the agency is working towards sealing off contaminated wells, and supplying fresh potable water for consumption by Ogoni people.

The NOSDRA Chief Executive pointed out that the Agency is in the process of establishing a National Command and Control Centre for the purpose of detecting and managing oil spill incidents through the use of Geographic Information System (GIS) technology.
To this end, he said that approval has been given via the Ecological Funds Office for the procurement and installation of the GIS equipment at the centre.

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