13 February 2021 By By Georgina Humphrey
The National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency, NOSDRA, says emergency response plan has been activated following the fire outbreak at OVH Energy’s tank farm at Apapa, last year.
Director-General, NOSDRA, Idris Musa made this known in an interview with Radio Nigeria in Abuja.
According to him, the inferno that gutted the Oando farm tank in the Apapa area of Lagos State consumed a total of seven million litres of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, otherwise known as petrol at the farm.
The Director General who said the cause of the fire was yet to be identified stressed that investigations are on going.
“The tank farm received consignment of petroleum and the capacity of that tank is ten million litres but the quantity of PMS in it at that point in time was seven million litres and that is a huge quantity” he stated
Musa noted that the impact of the fire incident would have been disastrous but for the quick intervention of relevant agencies, which arrived at the scene to tackle the inferno and brought it under control.
The NOSDRA Director General said the agency is working with other arms of government to curtail oil spills and where it has occurred bring remediation.
“When I came in here my first port of call was the office of the the chief of naval staff and I went there because I want us to have effective collaboration”
“There is what we call harmonised standard operating procedure, which we have now jointly done.
We did it with the Navy, DPR, NIMASA, and some other government agencies.
On the clean up of Ogoni land oil spillage, Musa who explained that about fifty-six contractors were engaged for the Job stated that twenty-one of them are ninety percent done while the others are at various stages.
He stressed that NOSDRA was actively monitoring activities of downstream operators to ensure they act within the rules and regulations.
He said the devastating impacts of oil spills on the environment, health and livelihoods of rural and urban communities, had led to land degradation and loss of lives.
“It has also led to destruction of habitats, loss of bio-diversity, incidence of diseases, poor sanitation, loss of livelihoods as well as the depletion of national revenue base.” He added
The NOSDRA boss stated that based on this and other concerns, the agency had been developing local capacity that would assist in combating oil spill and fire outbreaks in locations where oil commodities exist.
Musa said, “One of the key things that we have been doing here in this agency is to ensure that we have local capacity”
He however said in the interim a good contingency plan must be put in place in term of equipment, personnel and collaboration with stakeholders in the event of an oil spillage.
Musa said inadequate funding had been the bane of the environment sector.