Oil Spill Detection Agency Seeks Law Reforms To Enhance Role

Ogoni landThe National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) is pushing for a law reform to enable the agency perform its duties effectively.

The agency’s Director General, Peter Idabor, made the recommendation in Abuja at a meeting with the Chairman House Committee on Environment and the Minister of Environment.

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, 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, 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.

Osinbajo Receives Another Demand From Niger Delta Congress

Yemi Osinbajo on NigeriaJust few weeks after meeting with some representatives of Niger Delta communities and groups, the Nigerian government has again received fresh demands towards ensuring peace in the Niger Delta region.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo received the fresh demands on Tuesday on behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari from the Niger Delta Peoples Congress led by Amanyanabo of Ton-Brass Bayelsa State, King Alfred Diete Spiff.

The Congress Secretary, Professor Benjamin Okaba, told the Vice President that the group had come to re-affirm the submissions made earlier and to prioritise their concerns.

Some of the demands presented to the Vice President include; political reconstruction and fiscal federalism with management of resources by the constituents and a derivation principle that should allow the different unit annex and control its resources and pay appropriate and agreed tax to the centre.

They are also asking for the demilitarisation of the Niger Delta region, building of peace and confidence, funding interventionist agencies and a guarantee of environmental and human right protection.

The meeting with the Niger Delta Peoples Congress came barely two weeks after traditional leaders and some other indigenes of the Niger Delta presented 16 things they are confident will end militancy and bring development in the region if the government will consider them.

They presented the requests to President Muhammadu Buhari at a meeting held in Abuja.

Addressing reporters after the two-hour meeting, the leaders of the group, the traditional ruler of Amanyanobo Kingdom, King Alfred Diete-Spiff and Mr Edwin Clark decried the lack of infrastructure, human resource, manpower and welfare of the people years after oil exploration began in the Niger Delta.

Part of their demands are that the government should empower its people through training, open up the economy of the region through adequate investment in infrastructure and clean-up oil spills that have affected their farmlands and waters among others.

Militancy had resurged in the Niger Delta region in the second quarter of 2015, with militant groups seeking emancipation of the region and more control of the  natural resources.

To push their demands, oil facilities have been attacked in the region forcing some companies to declare force majeure, with the nation’s crude oil output and power supply largely affected.

At a time the nation is struggling to rise above the drop in the price of crude oil that has affected its revenue, the activities of the militants dipped crude oil production, with the output dropping by over one million barrels per day, according to figures given by the Minister of Information, Mr Lai Mohammed.

Any solution to the militant attacks on oil facilities presented to the Nigerian government could go a long way in boosting crude oil output and revenue to enable the nation wriggle out of economic recession officially declared after the second quarter of 2016.

The nation’s Gross Domestic Product had contracted by 2.06%, according to a second quarter report of the National bureau of Statistics.

Niger Delta Oil Spill: Group Accuses NOSDRA, Shell Of Compromise

Crude-oil-spillAmnesty International has accused the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), and Shell Petroleum Development Company of corrupt practices in the oil spill clean-up in Nigeria’s Niger delta.

According to a report by the human rights group, entitled “Shell’s false claim about oil spill response in the Niger delta”, NOSDRA certified as clean sites that are visibly contaminated by spillage from the oil giant shell.

Amnesty International’s Country Director, Muhammed Ibrahim, and the Researcher, Business and Human Rights, Mark Dummett, read the report out to journalists on Tuesday in Abuja.

But the Director General of NOSDRA, Mr Peter Odabor, denied the claims, saying they are false.

Amnesty International’s indictment came two months after President Muhammadu Buhari directed that the recommendations of the United Nations Environmental Program on the clean-up of oil spill sites in the Niger delta be implemented.

The group in the report claimed that Shell lied about her responses to oil spillage in the Niger delta and that some of the sites certified as clean by NOSDRA are still contaminated.

Some communities in the Niger delta region of Nigeria has suffered from decades of oil spill and other forms of pollution resulting from the activities of vandals and oil companies in the region.

Lawmakers Order Investigation Of Incessant Oil Spill In Niger Delta

Ogoniland Oil Spill.The Nigerian House of Representatives on Wednesday mandated its committees on environment and oil and gas upstream to investigate the causes of the incessant oil spills by the Nigerian Agip Oil Company in the Niger Delta region in the past few months.

The lawmakers also asked the committee to invoke the provisions of the offenses and punishment section of the oil and gas regulation to ensure enforcement.

This decision was following a matter of urgent public importance raised by Representative Stella Dorgu over the rate of oil spillage in Nigeria to the effect that 42 spills have already been recorded in the first quarter of 2014 alone resulting in loss and pollution of farmlands, water sources and displacement of indigenes.

Representative Dorgu said a recent spillage in Ikarama community in Yenagoa the capital of Bayelsa State on March 1 were preceded by spills in November and August of 2013 from facilities owned by the same oil company and other communities have experienced several spillage in the past month with no recourse, remediation, or compensation or even repair of the old pipelines which have been the sources of these spills.