By Gab Ejuwa
A non-governmental organisation, Center for Peace and Environmental Justice, CEPEJ, has called on the Director General of National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency, NOSDRA, to visit communities and creeks in the Niger Delta region affected by the oil spill to ascertain the extent of damages.
National Coordinator of CEPEJ, Mr Sheriff Mulade who made the call in Abuja, said oil spill-related environmental damages need urgent attention and NOSDRA need to know the numerous oil spills in the region to enable it to discharge its statutory obligations to the people.
“We see reasons to redirect the attention of NOSDRA to several explosions of oil and gas facilities, pipelines resulting in severe environmental ecological damages. There are numerous substandard oil and gas transportation facilities that are often prone to leakage, spill and explosion. If NOSDRA makes it a priority to know the location of such facilities, it could give better responses which include detection, prevention and result oriented response.”
He also drew the attention of NOSDRA to the preventable incident of 11 persons who died in 2016, from a pipeline explosion at Agip’s oilfield in Southern Ijaw Local Government of Bayelsa State, noting that it was necessary to call on NOSDRA to plan for a familiarisation visit to oil spills affected sites, particularly in the creeks and interact with host communities across Niger Delta.
He called on NOSDRA to correctly evaluate the volume of crude and gas that has been discharged into the surrounding environment arising from various explosions, leakages, equipment failures and third-party interference.
“It is also important to inspect some pipelines that are due for remedial maintenance and proffer solution aimed at forestalling a recurrence of preventable explosion and spills for the sake of the environment,” he said.