The National Coalition on Gas Flaring and Oil Spill in the Niger Delta (NACGOND), a coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) working on environmental issues, has observed that the amendment of the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) Act 2006 has no provision for penalties for offenses relating to gas flaring.
This was noted at the end of a one-day roundtable discussion held in collaboration with the House of Representatives Committee on Environment and Habitat, with the theme: “Strengthening NOSDRA for Effective Oil Spill Detection and Response in Nigeria” in Abuja recently.
The meeting seeks to reposition NODSRA for efficient, effective and result-oriented service delivery in view of safeguarding and protecting the environment and life, but it was observed that the agency is grossly underfunded.
The group, in a communiqué signed by Rev. Fr. Edward Obi, demands that the National Assembly should review and amend the 2006 Act.
They said there was need for the establishment of a national oil spillage liability trust fund and urged that NOSDRA be given power to enforce compliance with the laws relating to oil spill management.
“Adequate and prompt compensation be made by the facility owner and such compensation must relate directly to an ecological, economic or property damage arising from an oil spill or gas leakage,” they said in the communiqué.
While noting that NOSDRA should be a one-stop shop for all oil spill and gas flaring related matters to ensure adequate and timely response, they said it should be empowered to respond and clean oil spillage arising from artisanal refining.
The group also said the three-year period of limitation for bringing an action for compensation on oil spillage cases should be extended to 10 years.