By Oboh Agbonkhese
lagos—A professor of Geo-technical and Geo-environmental Engineering at Federal University of Technology Akure, FUTA, Professor Samuel Ola, has raised alarm over contamination of Lagos State groundwater by petroleum hydrocarbon from leaking Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, pipelines.
Professor Ola, leader of a team of experts that conducted a four-year research in Baruwa community, raised the alarm at a one-day workshop attended by representatives of the community, officials of the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR; NNPC; Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency, LASEPA; sponsors of the research, Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFUND, and other stakeholders.
Ola said the remediation process was successful, as the team of researchers and experts from FUTA, University of Osun and Afe Babalola University had devised a system of cleaning underground water contaminated by petroleum hydrocarbon caused by seepage from oil pipeline.
According to him, “after about 30 weeks of monitoring, there were dramatic reduction in the hydrocarbon content of the groundwater with some of the pilot wells recording zero contamination.”
However, he noted that decontamination cannot be sustained because the source of the contamination of the ground water in the community—oil spills from ruptured NNPC pipelines — remained unfixed.
Speaking at the occasion, chaired by Professor Olufemi Bamiro, Dr. Musa Zagi, Director Environment, DPR, called for the sustenance of such a platform, saying sincere engagement between government, oil corporations and host communities to tackle oil spill and environmental exploration remains the best way out.
On his part, TETFUND’s Executive Secretary, Dr. Abdulahi Baffa, represented by the fund’s Education Support Officer, Mrs Mary Israel-Cookey, said they will continue to fund research that solve real life problems and advance the course of academic development in the country, noting that the Professor Ola National Research Group had done well and delivered on its mandate.