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The National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) reports that a total of 1,086 oil spills were recorded in Bayelsa State from 2015 to February 2022.
The Managing Director of NOSDRA, Mr. Idris Musa made this known when delegations from Connected Development (CODE) and OXFAM paid an advocacy visit to his office in Abuja.
The visit aimed to discuss some of the challenges faced in oil communities.
Musa said that of the 1,086 oil spills recorded at Bayelsa, 917 were the result of sabotage in the form of someone breaking pipelines with a hacksaw or outright exploding pipelines.
He said communities in the region must protect oil installations and fight against these vandals, because their silence harms their environment.
“See, we can’t keep leaking, I gave you the stats now that we recorded 1,086 oil spills in Bayelsa from 2015 to February 2022, or 84.4%; it means we have to do something.
“It’s not about experts, if I come from a community for example, and then an expert comes to help me break a pipeline in my community that will spill oil in my water, will I then drink it and do other household chores?
“We need to talk about these issues, we have done so consistently with evidence, what we call the disaster risk reduction program for communities, telling them why they don’t need to vandalize facilities. oil companies.
“So CSOs also need to wake up and interface with these communities, let everyone check their piece and do the right thing, that’s what I will advocate, the blame is not just on the oil companies.
“If everyone in the stats I gave which is 84.4% stops this act, then we won’t have any spills and our environment will be good,” the DG said.
Musa said Nigeria is losing billions of naira due to oil spill suffered daily.
He added that NOSDRA opposes this and works to end the sabotage and destruction of oil installations.
“It’s because when this spill happens, three things happen.
“As a nation we lose income, people lose their livelihoods because the oil will impact the areas where they fish or farm and it’s also a loss for the oil companies and the environment,” he added.
Mr. Hamzat Lawal, Managing Director of CODE, said that the organization, through its Follow the Money initiative, monitors the use of public funds to ensure that they are used wisely for the benefit of communities.
Lawal said CODE, together with Oxfam, was working in the Niger Delta region as part of its Conflict and Fragility project.