The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA),Dakuku Peterside has described preparedness and core training as the panacea for handling oil spills in the maritime environment.
He said this while addressing participants at the eight day training programme on “Oil Spill Response and Preparedness Training on the Job” being organised by the European Union (EU) in Lagos.
Peterside, who decried the negative impact of oil spills on the marine environment and its effects on the livelihood of people living in coastal communities noted that it is only adequate preparation that can help mitigate the effect of oil spills.
According to him, “It is necessary to note that where there are in place contingency plans and equipment without training those that will handle them, there will be no preparedness. Hence this training is timely and highly appreciated especially being granted free to our nation.”
He urged participants to give the training programme the seriousness it deserves noting that their expertise after the training will be instrumental in dealing with issues of oil spills emphasising that as an oil producing nation, oil spills cannot be ruled out of the Nigeria maritime environment.
The training programme which is being held in Nigeria as one of the priority countries in Africa selected by the EU, is a capacity development and enhancement initiative in the area of environmental management and sustainability towards achieving a cleaner environment by reducing pollution as a result of oil spillage in the Nigerian maritime environment. The training is expected to acquaint participants with the requisite knowledge to combat oil spills where and when they occur and the contingency plans and equipment to deploy.
Participants at the training were drawn from NIMASA, the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) while the five prioritized countries from Africa are Nigeria, Senegal, Ghana Cote d’voire and Cameroun.
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