The Director General (DG) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), Mr. Idris O. Musa has posited that the current administration has devised new ways of running government affairs, a departure from what used to be, especially in the Ministry of Environment. He made the statement in Abuja while talking to newsmen.
This new trend he said is the responsibilities of the ministers of the Ministry of Environment; Dr. Mohammed M. Abubakar Minister, and Sharon Ikeazo (Esqr.) Minister of State, which according him are clear delineation in terms of who supervises what.
He says the regulatory agencies of the ministry like National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) directly report to and/supervised by the minister of state.
The minister, he says supervises some other agencies like National Park Services (NPS), He added that the ministers work hand in hand in order to meet up with tasks before them.
The DG/CEO of NOSDRD explains that the ministry is very wide and that the two ministers have to work very hard to meet up with environmental challenges in Nigeria today.
In light of the above, the ministers and heads agencies and parastatals in the ministry meet from time to time to review what the ministry has been able to achieve. This DG/CEO terms as one of the inspirations of next level agenda of President Mohammadu Buhari.
The NOSDRA DG/CEO says the ministry has been having challenges in recent time. One of such challenges is the flood experienced in parts of the country. The causes of the flood he says is the abundant rainfall in the year; the fact that it takes time for water to move down the south. And for this, a large volume of water is now in the riverine.
Another reason he gave for the persistent flood is that it takes time for fresh water to be accommodated into salt water of the ocean.
Another problem is the climate change which he says the minister was in Spain as he was talking with us, attending the COP25, i.e. conference of parties’ number 25 on climate change.
Another problem the agency is facing is man-made. The DG/CEO says that in a space of days, there were incidences like the vandalization of pipeline in Bukana LGA, the one at Eneka, the Igando/ Iyana Ipaja inferno.
All these were caused by oil thieves. The primary effect of all the vandalizatioin acts was fire outbreak.
The secondary effects according to him; is loss of revenue, health hazard when people inhale the fume.
On how his agency is working with NSCDC to safeguard the pipeline; the DG/CEO says the NSCDC has the major mandate of protecting national facilities including lightings, pipelines etc. He posits that men and officers of NCSCDC are not enough to man Nigeria pipeline which is over ten thousands kilometers, even if they are placed at one kilometer interval.
On how he feels citizens could be part safeguarding the pipelines, the DG/CEO says people should be bold to report vandals.
He narrates the spiral effects of oil spillage thus: “On the oil theft that caused fire in recent time, there are certain revenue that would have accrued from the amount of oil stolen, the one that got burnt, we will not gain such revenue.
And if we had gotten such revenue, it would have reduced our debt profile”, he said.