The National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) and Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on marine oil spill incident management.

The MoU was signed in Abuja on Wednesday, April 24.

The Director General, NIMASA, Dr Dakuku Peterside disclosed that the MoU became necessary due to the complexities involved in marine oil spill management, which he said required well co-ordinated efforts of parties involved.

He noted that the MoU would help both agencies pool resources to combat marine oil spills.

Dakuku said, “It is imperative to mention here that during the last IMO Member States Audit Scheme (IMSAS) that took place in 2016, the IMO auditors identified the lack of clear division of responsibilities for oil spill responses between NIMASA and NOSDRA with regards to the marine environment.

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“This issue was not new as it had been coming to fore in our previous meetings and it was recommended that the two Agencies cooperate to achieve the Nigeria’s common goal of effective response to Marine Oil Spill Incidents.
“Hence, the spirit of this MOU, l find very remarkable the zeal shown by the two Agencies to collaborate and resolve these grey areas on marine oil spill management.
“It is remarkable in the sense that the two agencies worked together assiduously to identify the areas of similar responsibilities touching on oil spill pollution management in the marine environment as set out in the International Convention for Oil Pollution Preparedness Response and Cooperation (0PRC’90) and reached a mutual  agreement with due consideration for the statutory mandate of the agencies.”
The Director General of NOSDRA, Idris Musa, also stressed the importance of the MoU, stating that it was imperative for both parties to see adequate response to marine oil spill in the country as common responsibility.

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