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Minister laments oil spill incidents in Niger Delta


Environment Minister, Amina Mohammed PHOTO:

Environment Minister, Amina Mohammed<br />PHOTO:

Producers to be responsible for wastes, says NESREA

In the wake of an upsurge in militant attacks on key oil infrastructure in the creeks and swamps of the oil-producing south, Minister of Environment, Amina Mohammed has decried the devastating impacts of oil spills on environment, health and livelihoods of the people in rural and urban communities.

Mohammed, who spoke at 10th anniversary of National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), regretted the growing level of oil spill incidents caused by the activities of illegal bunkering, artisanal refining, oil theft and armed militancy.

According to her, these activities, which occur mostly in the facilities located on land and swampy areas in Niger Delta region have led to land degradation, incidence of diseases as well as loss of national revenue.

She noted that with the increased interest of operators to pursue exploration and production in deep offshore, there is need to step up the level of preparedness to effectively response to the challenges that may occur by oil spills in maritime environment.

The minister urged the development partners to encourage and strengthen the agency to perform more, especially in view of   the challenges posed to oil spill management in the country occasioned by militants’ attacks on oil facilities.

She further pledged government’s commitment to dialogue with states, opinions and youth leaders in the Niger Delta Region with a view to finding lasting solution to the attacks.

Earlier, Director General of NOSDRA, Peter Idabor said the agency has recorded landmark achievements in oil management in Nigeria.

Meanwhile, the Director-General of the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA), Dr. Lawrence Anukam has reiterated the government’s readiness to begin the enforcement of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) in 2017.

Under the programme, manufacturers would henceforth be held responsible for the wastes emanated from their companies in 2017.

NESREA boss, who spoke during an Executive Session with Chief Executives in the Electrical and Electronics industry in Abuja, said it has become imperative for the agency to start enforcing it based on just concluded COP22 in Morocco.

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