Bayelsa: Total Of 1, 086 Oil Spills Recorded In 7Yyears– Agency

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NOSDRAThe National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) said a total of 1,086 oil spills were recorded in Bayelsa from 2015 to February 2022.

Mr. Idris Musa, Director-General, NOSDRA, made this known when delegations from Connected Development (CODE) and OXFAM paid an advocacy visit to his office in Abuja.

The visit was to discuss some challenges witnessed in oil-bearing communities.

Musa said that out of the 1, 086 oil spill incidents recorded in Bayelsa, 917 were a result of sabotage in the form of third-party breakage of pipelines with hacksaws or outright blowing up of the pipelines.

He said that communities in the area must protect oil installations and tackle such vandals, as their silence was causing harm to their environment.

“You see we cannot keep running away, I gave you the statistics now that we recorded 1, 086 oil spills in Bayelsa from 2015 to February 2022, that is 84.4 percent; that means we need to do something.

“It is not about experts, if I came from a community for instance, and then an expert will come and aid me to break a pipeline in my community that will spill oil into my water, will I then drink it and do other domestic chores?

“We need to speak to these issues, we have done that consistently with evidence, what we call Disaster Risk Reduction program for communities, telling them why they do not need to vandalize oil facilities.

“So CSOs also have to wake up and interface with these communities, let everybody check his own part and do the right thing, that is what I will advocate, the blame is not just on oil companies.

“If everybody in the statistics I gave, which is  84.4 percent, stop that act, then we will have zero spills and our environment will be good,” the DG said.

Musa said that Nigeria loses billions of Naira due to the oil spillage experienced on a daily bases.

He added that NOSDRA has been advocating against it and working to put an end to the sabotage and destruction of oil facilities.

“This is because when this spill happens, three things happen.

“As a nation, we lose revenue, individuals lose livelihood because the oil will impact on areas where they either fish or farm and then it is also a loss to the oil companies and the environment,” he added.

Mr Hamzat Lawal, Chief Executive Officer CODE, said that the organization through its Follow the Money initiative, tracks the utilization of public funds to ensure its judicious utilization in the interest of communities.

Lawal said that CODE in collaboration with Oxfam has been working in the Niger Delta region through its  Conflict and Fragility project.

He added that they were working on a new project and sought collaboration with NOSDRA.

Lawal said the CODE partnership with OXFAM and the advocacy visit to NOSDRA was also to domesticate the National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights in Nigeria at federal and state levels.

Mr. Henry Ushie, Project Coordinator, Fiscal Accountability for Inequality Reduction, said that OXFAM Nigeria works to reduce poverty, which was caused by inequality.

“It is not that there are no resources, but those resources do not go round, because a few people have hijacked most of the resources for themselves.

“So we try to reduce poverty by also ending inequality in all its forms, whether social, political or gender inequality, we just make effort to end those forms of inequalities.

“Specifically in Nigeria, we work across three key areas –  gender justice, economic livelihoods, and also on accountable governance.

“Within this sphere of work, is our work on just economy, where we look at those areas that have to do with revenue sharing.

“For example, issues around natural resources within the extractive industries and within that space, we work with stakeholders to look at those anomalies, the mismanagement that happens, particularly at the community level.”

Ushie said that the advocacy visit was to engage with NOSDRA on how to tackle challenges in extractive communities and how the communities can benefit more from the resources.

He added that the advocacy was to also get updates on how the agency leveraged the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP26, and its plan to participate and maximize the upcoming COP27 for the benefit of the nation.



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