29 November 2016, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Director-General, National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), Mr. Peter Idabor, has said the agency will ensure timely, effective and appropriate response to oil spills.
Idabor, who gave the assurance at the agency’s 10th anniversary symposium with the theme “Oil Spill Management in Nigeria: The Journey So Far”, in Abuja, said that the agency is seeking more powers to enable exact stringent penalties from oil and gas companies flouting the country’s environmental laws.
At a recent meeting with the Chairman House Committee on Environment and the Minister of Environment, the NOSDRA boss noted that the agency is pushing for a law reform to enable the agency perform its duties effectively.
According to him, the existing laws that established the agency made it impossible for it to criminalise those responsible for oil spills especially in the Niger Delta region.
The National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) is an agency of the Federal Government created to take the lead in ensuring timely and effective response to oil spills and ensure that clean-up and remediation are made to affected sites.
Since its establishment by an Act of the National Assembly in 2006, however, the agency has continued to contend with the overwhelming numbers of sites needing clean-up in the Niger Delta region.
After the Director General of NOSDRA explained how the laws that established the agency had limited its performance, the Chairman House Committee on Environment, Hon. Obinna Chidoka, assured the agency of the support of the legislators.
He, however, pointed out that the existing laws could make the agency do its job.
One of the areas needing clean-up is Ogoni Land and the Minister of Environment, Mrs. Amina Mohammed, explained the reasons behind the delay in executing the clean-up project of the Ogoni Land in the Niger Delta region.
The Federal government had announced the clean-up of Ogoni Land in June this year, but five months after, that project is yet to be executed.