Nigerian President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua has warned that oil companies operating in Nigeria must be made to pay heavy fines for oil spills caused by them.
Taking a much stronger line than any of his predecessors, the President said that regulatory authorities must ensure that stiff penalties are imposed on companies that default in cleaning up the spills.
The President spoke after a presentation by the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), by its Director-General, Dr Bamidele Ajakaiye, who argued that NOSDRA’s vision was to “create, nurture and sustain a zero-tolerance oil spill incident in the Nigerian environment.”
Ajakaiye said its functions included “surveillance and ensuring compliance with all existing legislation and detection of oil spills in the petroleum sector,” including coordinating responses to such incidents throughout the country.
I hope he has looked up the meaning of zero-tolerance, as he will have his work cut out to stop pollution from the country’s huge ageing infrastructure.