NOSDRA partners firm on aerial management of oil spill
The National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) has entered into partnership with Omni-Blu Aviation Limited in the area of using specialised aircrafts (or air tractors) for emergency oil spill combat in Nigeria. Speaking during the stakeholders’ meeting on aerial capacity building on oil spill management in Abuja on Tuesday, the Director-General/Chief Executive Officer of NOSDRA, Sir Peter Idabor, said that the strategic alliance with the firm was a modern approach that was in line with global best practices.
Idabor explained that the aerial spill combat capacity programme would involve using customised aircrafts located within our shores to, amongst others, undertake surveillance and aerial dispersant spraying. He however noted that with NOSDRA’s partnership arrangement with Omni-Blu Aviation Limited, the dream of having a tier-three oil spill response capacity fully domiciled in the country was coming to fruition, with the Ground Receiving Station of the aerial surveillance equipment positioned at the agency’s Incident Command Centre.
He further noted that the specialised aircrafts will enhance NOSDRA’s regulatory capacity by enabling the agency and all stakeholders to effectively handle major spills in deep and shallow water areas. The Minister of Environment, Mrs. Lawrencia Mallam, expressed delight at the partnership arrangement on aerial management of oil spills, saying that the laudable initiative was in line with the transformation agenda of Mr. President in the environment sector, as championed by her ministry. She urged relevant stakeholders, including the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), to support the aerial capacity project.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Omni-Blu Aviation Limited, Akin Olateru, explained that when fully implemented, the aerial aviation service, the first of its kind in Nigeria and indeed West Africa, will optimise the window of opportunity for timely application of dispersant to contain the spread of oil spills and significantly reduce consequent environmental damage, as well as swiftly and efficiently deploy aerial firefighting to support ground efforts in the event of associated spill fire incidents or accidents.