By Sunday Apah, Ughelli
A Niger Delta based Non Governmental Organization, 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 creeks in the Niger Delta affected by oil spill to ascertain extent of damages.
The National Coordinator of CEPEJ, Comrade Sheriff Mulade who made the call in Abuja, noted that oil spill related environmental damages need urgent attention and NOSDRA need to be abreast with numerous oil spill in the region to enable them discharge the agency’s statutory obligations to the people.
“We see reasons to redirect the attention of NOSDRA to several explosions of oil and gas facilities, pipelines resulting to 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 they could give a better response operations which includes detection, prevention and result oriented response”.
CEPEJ boss 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 reoccurrence of preventable explosion and spills for the sake of the environment”, he said.
He further added that CEPEJ is rightfully disposed and competently equipped to give the agency accurate knowledge of the Niger Delta creeks that are overrun with numerous forms of pipelines that could explode anytime and wreck havoc on the environment.