By Michael Eboh
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, said it has evacuated 98 per cent of a banned hazardous substance -Tetra Ethyl Lead, TEL, from the Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna refineries.
The NNPC a statement said the evacuation is in line with the United Nations’ convention and part of its commitment to promoting a green economy.
Speaking at a forum on the World Environment Day in Abuja, the Group Managing Director, NNPC, Dr. Joseph Dawha, was quoted as saying that the Corporation will continue to execute and encourage policies and programmes that enhance health, safety and preservation of the environment in alignment with the UN environment policy.
Dawha, represented by Group Executive Director, Refining and Petrochemical, Mr. Gregory Udoh, said the NNPC, like other players in the industry will continue to come up with proactive engagements that will reduce consumption of natural resources for a sustainable productive future.
He said the NNPC has made Health, Safety and Environment, HSE, a core component of all its operations and will enhance awareness on environment safety, while also cutting down on gas flaring and oil spill in order to promote a healthy environment that is safe for all.
Similarly, the General Manager, HSE, Mr. Rabiu Suleiman, said the evacuation of the banned substance from Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna refineries was without any incidence.
According to him, the feat is first of its kind in the world, thereby, positioning Nigeria and the NNPC on the global environmentally friendly map, adding that other countries where such evacuations were carried out recorded several incidences.
Also speaking, the Group Executive Director, Engineering and Technology, Mr. Adebayo Ibirogba, said in its determination to promote a clean environment, the NNPC is working relentlessly to encourage the use of Liquefied Petroleum Gas, LPG, which is a cleaner, safer and cheaper domestic energy.
According to him, NNPC is in the best position to do this as it is the largest equity owner of the LPG produced in Nigeria, and also currently the sole producer/importer of one of the major competing fuels to LPG which is kerosene.
“In addition, NNPC owns over 60 per cent of the current in-country LPG storage capacity totaling 60,000 tonnes,” he was quoted in the statement.
He noted that currently LPG cylinder circulation is less than a million, and the NNPC Retail is working aggressively to increase the number to 10 million in the years ahead, stressing that LPG is a game changer that would shore up the revenue base of the Corporation.
Delivering the key lecture of the event, an environmentalist and Executive Director, Basel Convention from the University of Ibadan, Prof. Oladele Osibanjo, applauded the NNPC for the phase out of Tetra Ethyl Lead in gasoline from Nigeria.
He described the accomplishment as a successful sustainable consumption and production environmental practice by the Corporation.
He stressed that companies like NNPC that adopt environmentally friendly policies should be given incentives to do more and to encourage other corporate bodies to do same in order to reinforce the stick and carrot approach as adopted in other developed climes.
World Environment Day is celebrated annually on the 5th of June as the United Nations’ principal vehicle for encouraging worldwide awareness and coordinated positive actions for the environment.
It also serves as people’s day for doing something positive for the environment, galvanising individual actions into a collective momentum that generates an exponential positive impact on the planet.