Agency seeks JTF sup­port in tack­ling oil spills

Daily Trust - - ENVIRONMENT - By Chidimma C. Okeke

The Na­tional Oil Spills De­tec­tion and Re­sponse Agency (NOSDRA) has sought the col­lab­o­ra­tion of the Joint Task Force (JTF) in Niger Delta to tackle en­vi­ron­men­tal pol­lu­tions ac­cru­ing from oil spillage, il­le­gal bunker and theft in the re­gion.

The oil spill agency in a state­ment is­sued by its spokesman, Sir Hen­shaw Ogu­bike, ex­pressed its will­ing­ness to work with JTF when Chair­man of the Gov­ern­ing Board of NOSDRA, Ma­jor Lancelot Anyanya (rtd) led a team of NOSDRA man­age­ment to a cour­tesy call to the JTF Com­man­der.

The NOSDRA del­e­ga­tion which in­cluded the DG/CEO of the agency, Sir Peter Id­a­bor and other man­age­ment staff met the Com­man­dant of the JTF Maj. Gen. Em­manuel Atewe and JTF of­fi­cials in Delta State.

Ac­cord­ing to the state­ment, Anyanya said that the essence of the visit was to so­licit their sup­port in tack­ling the men­ace of oil spillage caused by third party in­ter­fer­ence, con­sid­er­ing the fact that the roles of JTF and NOSDRA were in­ter­re­lated.

The JTF, Anyanya said, is deal­ing with the scourge of il­le­gal bunker­ing which re­sults to oil spills and pro­vid­ing se­cu­rity for oil in­stal­la­tions in the en­tire re­gion.

“The crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity in the re­gion is a ma­jor con­cern to NOSDRA be­cause of the dam­age to ecosys­tem, which the Bayelsa gover­nor said is equiv­a­lent to en­vi­ron­men­tal ter­ror­ism.

“Oper­a­tion Polu Shield has di­min­ished the in­flu­ence of crim­i­nals in this re­gion and your sup­port to NOSDRA has given me a sense of ca­ma­raderie,” Anyanya said.

Anyanya ap­plauded the com­mit­ment of Pres­i­dent Good­luck Jonathan in em­pow­er­ing NOSDRA to tackle oil spill is­sues to en­sure that oil ex­plo­ration was con­ducted in an en­vi­ron­men­tally sus­tain­able way to en­hance eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment.

Also, the DG NOSDRA, Sir Peter Id­a­bor, noted that the ac­tiv­i­ties of JTF have had a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact in re­duc­ing crim­i­nal­ity in the oil fields and by im­pli­ca­tion spill in­ci­dents and im­proved se­cu­rity in the re­gion.

Id­a­bor rec­om­mended ap­pro­pri­ate dis­posal of crude oil cap­tured from van­dals and crim­i­nals rather than be­ing burnt. He said NOSDRA could avail its ex­per­tise to the agency to en­sure that re­cov­ered stolen crude would not pose threat to the en­vi­ron­ment.

Id­a­bor stressed that NOSDRA ac­tiv­i­ties cov­ered the whole coun­try be­cause pipe­lines passed through the whole coun­try, ex­press­ing his dis­may with people in the com­mu­nity who con­nive to de­lay pay­ments of salaries to the pipe­line guards.

In his re­sponse, the JTF Com­man­der while com­mend­ing Anyanya for his ap­point­ment as Chair­man of the NOSDRA Gov­ern­ing Board, urged him to bring his pro­fes­sion­al­ism and com­pe­tence to bear in his as­sign­ment and jus­tify the con­fi­dence re­posed in him.

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