By Mohammed Kandi
he Minister of Environment, Laurentia Mallam has tasked the management of National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) to ensure adequate and proper utilization of oil spill equipment.
Laurentia Mallam stated this during the commissioning and handing over ceremony of the Geographic Information System Equipment installed in Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt, Warri, Uyo and Kaduna as well as the laboratory and oil Spill Detection Equipment installed in the Port-Harcourt office to the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) recently at the NOSDRA Headquarters in Abuja.
In a statement by the ministry, the Minister emphasized that the Federal Government deliberately created NOSDRA to check the rising tide of oil spillage and pollution, which had negatively impacted on the environment.
Mallam also lamented that oil spillage has caused series of pollution to rivers, environmental degradation, destruction of aquatic life, farmlands, outbreak of diseases, heavy metal concentration and pollution, among others.
She also noted that Nigeria was blessed with enormous crude oil and gas resources, stressing that we should collectively harness and exploit the nation’s treasury for the socio-economic development of the country.
The Minister commended the National Committee on Ecological problems for funding the projects and appealed to Nigerians, as well as Oil and Gas Regulators to join hands with the Federal Government towards eradicating the ugly trend of oil spillage and its harmful effects on the environment and the health of Nigerians.
Earlier in his speech, the Director-General and the Chief Executive of the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), Peter Idabor revealed that Nigeria has been nominated as the Regional Coordinating Centre for the West, Central and Southern Africa in matters relating to Marine Oil Pollution by the Abidjan Convention.
He added that the Agency would exercise utmost commitment and dedication in the performance of its duties, in order to maintain the leadership role it has been given by the convention.
Peter Idabor appealed for the establishment of an Oil Spill Response Base in Bayelsa State by the Federal Government, commending the efforts of the Ecological Fund Office at replicating the projects in Akure, Bayelsa and Kogi States. He assured NOSDRA that the equipment would be properly managed and utilized.