*As spills in Nigeria records a downward trend
Lagos — The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA and the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency, NOSDRA, are currently meeting to mull plans to process and access compensation for victims of oil spills in Nigeria from the International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund, IOPC.
This is just as Nigeria continues to record a downward trend in oil spills across the country in the last seven years.
Speaking at the National workshop on Oil Pollution Liability and Compensation in Lagos yesterday, Minister of Environment, Dr. Mohammad Abubakar, said that the move was to draw attention to the scope and implementation of International Oil pollution fund focusing on the procedure related to compensation in case of an oil spill.
Abubakar who was represented by the Director General of the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency, NOSDRA, Mr. Idris Musa also said that the workshop will also deepen the understanding of common challenges and complexities of oil spills.
Abubakar also said that the need to work out modalities on how to adequately and fairly compensate both victims of oil spills pollution and the environment cannot be over emphasized.
“Consideration should not only be given to socio-economic losses suffered by individuals or communities, but also to ecological damage by way of effective restoration of the damaged ecosystem.”
“Particular attention must be paid to how our citizen can adhere strictly to the procedure for accessing the benefits inherent in the International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund, IOPC”.
Earlier in his opening remarks Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside said that Nigeria needs to develop strategies and policies for effective shoreline response.
Meanwhile, there has been a downward trend in the number of oil spills as only 30,000 tons of oil spills were recorded last year compared to 2.26 metric tons in 2012.
While 2.65 metric tons of oil spills were recorded in 2013, 2.7 metric tons were recorded against 2014 and in 2015, 1.8 metric tons was reported just as 815,000 metric tons in 2016 and 24,000 metric tons in 2017.