By Anthony Nwachukwu
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) said that alongside relevant regulatory agencies, it was closely monitoring the early November 15th crude oil spill that occurred during loading operations in Egina.
Alongside the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) and Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), NIMASA said the spill was being monitored real time from the Crisis Management Room (CMR) with oil spill monitoring software from the Emergency Response Centre.
“Though the volume of spill is not yet confirmed, Total Energies is providing aerial surveillance and dispersant application, while further mobilisation is being considered,” according to a statement from the NIMASA Head of Public Relations, Edward Osagie.
“The Oil Spill Response Limited from the United Kingdom is also assisting with pollution control measures. Reconnaissance survey of the impacted area confirms that the shoreline communities of Andoni, Qua-Iboe terminals, Bonny Island, Opobo/Nkoro and Eastern Obolo, which are closest to Egina, are not yet affected.”
Meanwhile, NIMASA Director-General, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, said the agency was collaborating with all stakeholders to control the pollution and also put in place preventive measures against reoccurrences, in line with the MARPOL Convention.
“Since the incident happened, our men have been liaising with other organs of government to ensure the pollution is effectively controlled and managed, to protect the marine environment and the communities close to the incident point,” Jamoh explained.
“Accidents do happen, it’s what we do thereafter that matters and I believe that the IOC Total, working with NIMASA, NUPRC, NOSDRA and collaborating with international service providers, will surely ensure proper management of the spill.”