Peter Idabor, the Director General of the National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), says lack of facilities is hindering the agency’s operations.
Idabor, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Monday, said: “We don’t have enough logistics that will enable us to carry out our job without depending on facilities from the oil industry we supervise.
“We need money to set up an office, an incident command centre, and also an equipment stockpile made available when there is a major spill.’’
He expressed the hope that the agency would be self-sustaining in terms of management of the scarce resources made available to it.
“If the amendment bill on the agency is approved by the president, it will be better positioned to function adequately as is the case in other countries of the world.
“NOSDRA is handicapped in going to some of these areas of oil spill, especially with the difficult terrains of the Niger Delta.
“In fact, we have a lot of challenges in terms of finance and infrastructure, but the passage of the bill into law will give us the needed backing to operate maximally,’’ he said.
Idabor also advocated that in cleaning up Ogoni land, automated materials and machines should not be bought in.
He rather called for equipment that would utilise manual labour.
“This will help create jobs for the youths of the area to reduce violent tendencies and empower women by providing them alternative means of livelihood,” he said.
The director general also said the agency had established a reference laboratory to analyse samples from the Ogoni area.
“We are ready for those areas to be cleaned up, so we check based on the guidelines set up for the control of certain chemical products in the environment to ensure they comply before we certify them as cleaned up.
“We also do product checks on the people applying to Ogoni land to make sure they are good enough to tackle polluted sites.