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SPEECHES
January 10, 2020
Sharon O. Ikeazor Esq. Honourable Minister of State for Environment

Keynote Address by Sharon O. Ikeazor Esq. Honourable Minister of State for Environment on the occasion Of the Commissioning Of The National Oil Spill Detection And Response Agency (NOSDRA) Office Building And National Oil Spill Reference Laboratory In Port Harcourt

Protocol

I am delighted to be here today on the occasion of the official commissioning of NOSDRA’s Office Building Complex and the National Oil Spill Reference Laboratory here in the garden city of Port Harcourt.

2​. The National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) is a parastatal of the Federal Ministry of Environment which, by its Establishment Act, is charged with the responsibility of environmental regulation of the petroleum industry in Nigeria, as well as ensuring sustainable practices in the exploitation, production, storage, distribution and dispensing of crude oil and petroleum products across the country.

3. ​The devastating impacts of oil spills on the environment, health and livelihoods of our rural and urban communities have led to land degradation, air and water pollution, loss of lives, destruction of habitats, loss of biodiversity, incidence of diseases, as well as the depletion of national revenue base. These illegal and inhuman practices must be stopped if we are to develop and progress as a Nation.

4. ​It is very sad to note that a majority of the oil spills that occur almost on a daily basis in Nigeria are caused by artisanal refining, pipeline vandalism, oil theft and illegal bunkering. Only recently, the National Economic Council noted with concern that oil theft and other sources of leakages in the oil sector accounted for the loss of 22million barrels of crude oil between January and June, 2019.

5. ​In the short period that we have been in charge of affairs in the Federal Ministry of Environment, the Honourable Minister and I have appreciated the enormous responsibilities placed on the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency, vis-à-vis the challenges the Agency is facing in achieving its mandate. We are committed to ensuring that the Agency succeeds, and to this end we are working with other stakeholders on the review of the NOSDRA Establishment Act in order to strengthen the Agency and make it more responsive and effective in the discharge of its statutory duties.

6. ​I wish to congratulate NOSDRA for the completion of this giant edifice in the heart of Port Harcourt, which is also the hub of oil exploration and production in Nigeria. I am particularly delighted that the Agency has put up a standard National Oil Spill Reference Laboratory to cater for local needs in oil spill management. I implore the Agency to ensure that standards are kept and maintained in line with international best practices so as to make the facility the pride of the nation.   

7. ​Ladies and gentlemen, as a demonstration of the commitment of this Administration to oil spill management in Nigeria, His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, embarked on the implementation of the United Nations Environment (UNE) Report on Ogoniland by establishing the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP). The remediation works are underway, and it is intended that all remediated sites will be restored to all practical extent. In this regard, I direct that the facilities available in the National Oil Spill Response Laboratory be patronized by HYPREP and its contractors, as well as the oil companies operating across the nation to maximize the potential of the facility.

8.​ The Federal Ministry of Environment will pay more attention to the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency with a view to ensuring that it acquires the necessary tools to carry out its mandates in the petroleum sector of the Nigerian economy.

9. ​Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you for your attention and God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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