The Centre for Peace and Environmental Justice has urged the federal government to relocate the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) to the Niger Delta region.
The group said NOSDRA has failed in her responsibility of monitoring oil spill incidentsandclean-up and remediation activities because of their skeletal services at zonal level.
Addressing journalists in Abuja, the national coordinator of the group, Comrade Sheriff Mulade saidthe Abuja office of NOSDRA is far from the people and scenes of oil spill incidents.
He lamented that the major cause of environmental challenges remains spillages from the careless handling of products from extraction by the oil companies operating in the Niger Delta.
According to him, Communities in the Niger Delta rarely find or get justice when their rights are infringed upon whereas environmental rights abusers and offenders are never punished because the rural people can’t travel to Abuja to lodge their complaint.
He said, “It is on paper that NOSDRA should function to identify the high risk areas as well aspriorities areas for protection and cleanup and to ensure a programme of activation, training, and drill exercise to ensure readiness to oil pollution preparedness. If oil spills occur majorly in the Niger Delta, one wonders why an Agency whose core job is in the Niger Delta would be operating from Abuja.
“It is on paper that NOSDRA has the responsibility for preparedness, detection and response to oil spillage in Nigeria. However, with happenings in the past and lately, you will agree with me that NOSDRA is too far from discharging these mandates and have failed to protect the Nigerian Marine Environment. NOSDRA is only an agency “on paper”, not proactive and have failed woefully to monitor and manage spills anywhere in Niger Delta or Nigeria.
“It is a fact that NOSDRA depends on logistics from the multinational oil companies for JointInvestigation Visit to spill sites which increase and encourage third party interference.
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