Recent data from the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) reveals that the Niger Delta region has witnessed a significant volume of oil spillage in the last 17 years, amounting to approximately 754,196.44 barrels of oil. These spillages, caused by various factors such as sabotage, oil theft, and operational issues, occurred in 14,053 incidents during the mentioned period. The environmental and economic impact of these oil spillages in the region is severe, with adverse effects on the ecosystem.
The data further highlights the year-by-year breakdown of oil spill incidents, with 2022 recording 596 incidents resulting in the loss of 18,855.192 barrels of oil. In 2021, 404 incidents led to the loss of 22,788.378 barrels of oil, while 2020 saw 433 incidents causing the loss of 21,049.577 barrels of oil.
The year with the highest recorded oil spill incidents was 2014, with a staggering 1,521 incidents leading to the loss of 78,890.461 barrels of oil.
A professor of Chemistry, Nduka John, emphasized that oil spillage is often caused by human error and pipeline corrosion. He stressed the need for proper maintenance of pipelines and the employment of professionals to manage oil company contracts in curbing this environmental menace.
The Chief of Army Staff, Major General Taoreed Lagbaja, has pledged to address oil theft and pipeline vandalism in the Niger Delta region as part of the government’s “Renewed Hope” agenda. His commitment is aimed at ensuring the protection of the region’s natural resources and combating environmental degradation.
Efforts to control and mitigate the impact of oil spillage in the Niger Delta are crucial for preserving the delicate ecosystem and safeguarding the livelihoods of the communities residing in the area.