The direct impact of the Bonga oil spill is set to be known through the Post Impact Assessment (PIA) report on the disaster, the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) said recently.
The agency’s Director-General, Mr Peter Idabor, told newsmen in Abuja that NOSDRA had been supervising the post-impact assessment being handled by Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC).
He said the report of the assessment would delineate the areas affected by spill to enable the agency to address it accordingly.
Idabor said that the company had already applied ‘dispersant’ on the spill in the affected areas, adding: “They use dispersants which are chemicals to spray on the surface of the water, which now makes the crude oil to go to the bottom.
“I believe that the crude oil is still there. We have recommended that Shell should be responsible, to an extent, for the loss of fishing sites and fishing grounds for these people.
“So, what Shell is doing is to carry out, in conjunction with us, we are supervising it, Post Impact Assessment and they have finished all the samplings; I think that they are in the final stages of bringing up the report.“
It would be recalled that the Bonga oil spill, with a loss of 35,000 barrels, occurred on December 20, 2011, during a routine export operation to transfer crude oil from Bonga’s Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO).
The Tide learnt that since the disaster, economic activities had been at its lowest ebb because fishermen and farmers could no longer engage in their businesses.
Meanwhile, a pressure group, Conference of Niger Delta Youths Representatives, claimed that the spill affected five states of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, Ondo and Rivers states.
The director-general said the PIA would also reveal if the spill affected the five states as claimed by the group.
He, however, admitted that the spill had affected the livelihood of the communities in those states.
“The dispersant actually affected the people living on the land because of the way it was indiscriminately deployed by the oil company.
“They suffer from the effects; air borne particles of dispersants were spread on the people along the coastline in some of the communities.
“For me, I don’t understand, if there is a spill, it moves in one direction; what we know is that this spill moved towards Delta and Bayelsa states.
“I don’t know how it would move backward to Akwa Ibom; it is a difficult thing for me to determine but the Post Impact Assessment will tell us the areas that have been impacted by this spill,“ he said.
Similarly, he said that NOSDRA had been ensuring that clean up exercise was carried out in areas affected by the spill from the Brass export terminal operated by AGIP.
He said that NOSDRA staff had been deployed to supervise the clean-up exercise in the oil spills from Rumuekpe crude delivery line that polluted the Ikarama community in Yenagoa.
“In the case of Brass, the oil company did not deny; they know it was not caused by sabotage so they borrowed our vessel for the clean-up.
“They borrowed it and they used it for clean-up for over 10 days. Our people are giving us feedback and we will try to estimate the extent of damage done in the areas before taking further actions,“ he said.
Group Lauds FG Over Planned Repositioning Of NDDC
A group known as Patriotic Forum of Niger Delta (PAFOND) has commended President Muhammadu Buhari over his plans to reposition the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to live up to its statutory mandate of developing the Niger Delta region.
The commendation was part of a communiqué issued at the End of Year general meetings of the forum in Port Harcourt, and made available to The Tide.
The communiqué which was signed by the National chairman of the forum, comrade Owo Udoh, and the National Secretary, Comrade Daniel Wilson, stated that the Niger Delta had continued to suffer development neglect despite its huge to the Nigeria economy.
The forum urged the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, to commence the construction of roads in the Niger Delta and embark on other projects that will create meaningful impact on the lives of the people.
The group also called on other Niger Delta indigenes serving in the Buhari government,, particularly the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, to attract development projects to the Niger Delta.
The forum called on the governors of the Niger Delta states to channel the resources of the states for proper economic development of the region.
The group which expressed regrets over the, “infrastructural decay” in the Niger Delta, said development potentials in the oil rich region can be properly harnessed if the budgetary allocations for the development of the region are not diverted into personal coffers.
Expert Tasks Oil Firms On MoUs Implementation
The brewing conflicts between oil companies and their host communities in the Niger Delta over a breach of agreements signed by the corporate partners have generated concerns among stakeholders.
Worried by the increasing spate of disagreement between oil firms and their host communities, an expert in the oil and gas sector, Dr Eddie Wikina, has called on all multinationals and corporate organisations operating in the Niger Delta to implement the Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) signed with their host communities.
Wikina who spoke with The Tide in an exclusive interview recently, said the flouting of MoUs and the absence of sustainable community development policies among various oil firms and corporate organisations were the root causes of underdevelopment and conflicts in the Niger Delta.
He pointed out that; “modern industry practices require that both the oil firms and the host communities operate in mutual agreement and synergy through a well community engagement model that would be subject to upward reviews to suit evolving developments to avert crisis.”
He noted that oil related conflict has been a predominant feature of the Niger Delta over the years and urged prospecting oil firms and other corporate organisations in the region to learn from the experiences of the past and improve their host community relations by contributing meaningfully to the development of their host communities.
The expert in Petroleum Engineering said host communities were major stakeholders in the oil and gas business, noting that their active participation in the sector was an elixir to smooth business operation According to him, “it’s certain that that business activities can’t strive in an environment where there is mutual disagreement and incessant conflicts; global standards in oil and gas business require that host communities be given their due sense of belonging to promote peace and development.
The business concern must be accommodative of the development interest of the host communities, any company that glosses over the interest of its host communities is bound to face challenges.”
Wikina cautioned against the influx of substandard oil firms in the Niger Delta and called on the Federal Government to enact laws that will compel multinationals to implement all agreements signed with their host communities.
“Not all companies that prospect for oil in the Niger Delta has the capacity for effective business operation, some of them don’t have the industry experience and lack the potency to make the right impact”, he said.
He said the implantation of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) would address the inherent challenges in the oil and gas sector, especially in the development of oil and gas producing communities.
DisCos Studying Modalities Of NERC’s Directive On Cashless Payment –ANED
The Association of Nigeria Energy Distributors (ANED) says distribution companies are studying the modalities of the directive issued by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) on cashless payment by customers.
Chairman, ANED, Mr Sunday Oduntan stated this on Friday in Lagos.
NERC had on December 31, 2019 directed the 11 DisCos to transit to cashless settlement platforms for the billing/collection of industrial and commercial customers by Jan. 31, 2020.
It also directed the Discos to transit to cashless settlement platforms for the billing/collection of the R3 class of residential customers by March 31.
The NERC said that Discos should leverage available banking channels approved by the Central Bank of Nigeria in complying with the directive.
It said that failure by DisCos to comply with the order would be treated as a breach of the terms and conditions of the distribution licence.
The commission said the move was expected to reduce the collection leakages being experienced in the sector.
Oduntan said that ANED was in support of any idea that would improve services between the layers in the power sector, noting that there was, however, need to examine the modalities concerning its implementation.
“We are studying the modalities of the directive. In principle, we support any idea that will reduce cash transactions; so, to us it is a good idea, especially for security purposes.
“But we also have to look at our customers across the country, especially those in the rural areas. Some of them don’t have bank accounts, don’t do internet banking and some even have cooperatives who collect these cash from them to help them make payments.
“So, we have to look at how we can factor them in and that is why we are yet to come out with our position.”
Oduntan said ANED had channels of communication with NERC and would not hesitate to sit down with the regulatory agency to sort out the grey areas.
Featured3 days ago
Judgement On Imo Guber Tussle: S’Court’s Sack Of Ihedioha, Sad Commentary, PDP Declares …Mixed Feelings Greet Verdict Declaring Uzodinma Winner …As Apex Court Decides Tambuwal’s Fate, Monday
Business3 days ago
Customs Shortlists 162,399 Candidates For Aptitude Test
Sports3 days ago
Enyimba FC’s Chairman Threatens To Quit
Politics3 days ago
Abia Guber: Otti Accepts S’Court Verdict Poll …Insists Ikpeazu, PDP Rigged
Politics3 days ago
Imo: INEC Releases Schedule For Supplementary Elections
Sports3 days ago
Madrid President Praises Zidane
Sports3 days ago
‘Why Nigerian Clubs Are Struggling In Africa’
Sports3 days ago
NPFL: Rivers United, Lobi Battle For Supremacy, Today