Yenagoa – The National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) and Shell have dismissed a report by Amnesty International that they colluded to certify polluted Ogoni oil fields as clean.
The report had alleged that NOSDRA had certified oil polluted sites at Ogoni oil fields in the Niger Delta as clean when the sites remain polluted.
Reacting to the development on Tuesday, Dr Peter Idabor, Director-General of NOSDRA said that the allegations were false and baseless as oil pollution occurs on a continuous basis.
“The allegations by Amnesty International that we certify sites that are not cleaned up is unfounded and untrue.
“The nature of oil pollution in the Niger Delta is such that you can clean up a site today and soon after you leave it is polluted.
“It is an unfair assessment given all the efforts we are making under very daunting institutional challenges and inadequate funding.
“What effort have they made at advocacy to solve the problems?.
“It is clear that the organization is working for foreign interests and their only target is to justify their grants,” Idabor said.
The D-G noted that the oil spill agency recently lost a regulatory officer at an oil spill site in Bayelsa due to pipeline explosion and urged stakeholders to appreciate the challenges facing NOSDRA.[pro_ad_display_adzone id=”70560″]
Also, Shell in a statement signed by its Spokesman, Mr Joseph Obari made available to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday, maintained that it remained committed to a cleaner Ogoni land.
“Despite not producing oil and gas in Ogoniland since 1993, the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) has been involved in a number of initiatives aimed at delivering a better future for this region.
“ These include working with the Federal Government, communities and civil society on accelerating implementation of the 2011 UNEP report.
“ A remediation programme aimed at cleaning up the backlog of spill sites in Ogoniland as quickly as possible; and working with local communities to prevent oil theft and sabotage, which continue to cause environmental damage.
“The SPDC JV continues to implement a number of social investment initiatives in Ogoniland, including community health programmes, scholarships and economic empowerment schemes.” The Oil firm stated. (NAN)