The National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), has called on oil industry operators to invest in technology and equipment for prompt detection and response to oil spills.
The Chairman, Governing Board of NOSDRA, Dr Shehu Yamusa (III), made the call on Thursday in Abuja at a stakeholders meeting with oil companies operating in Nigeria.
He said these should include robust surveillance systems, the use of unmanned Aerial Surveillance Equipment and advanced oil spill modeling and prediction tools.
The chairman said that well equipped response teams were also important to mobilise swiftly when the need arises.
Yamusa was represented by Mr Idris Musa, the Director – General, National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA).
He said that operators must enhance their preparedness by conducting regular drills and exercise to test their response strategies and identify any gaps.
” By so doing, you can strengthen your ability to handle oil spills incidents of different magnitudes and minimise their impact on the environment,” he said.
” Oil spills continue to pose significant threat to our ecosystems , wildlife and communities,” he said.
He said oil spills have the potential to cause irreparable or irreversible damage to the country’s fragile ecosystems and disrupt the lives and livelihoods of those who depend on them.
” Therefore, our responsibility as custodians of the environment becomes even more crucial,” he said.
Yamusa urged industry operators to develop and enforce robust safety standards, ensure adherence to best practices among others.
” We can build a resilient system that mitigates the risk of oil spills and protects our environment for future generations,” he said.
In a remark, the Director – General, NOSDRA, Mr Idris Musa, said that oil spill management was of paramount importance to the agency and other stakeholders in the oil sector.
” We are actually aware of the devastating impacts that oil spills have on ecosystems, wildlife, local economies, the well- being and livelihoods of host communities.
“It is a collective responsibility that we must shoulder together as stakeholders representing various sectors to tackle this pressing issue head-on,” he said.
He said that inputs from stakeholders would ensure that oil spills were minimised, response efforts were swift and effective, and affected communities supported in their recovery.