By Aisha Cole
The Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Dakuku Peterside, said preparedness and core training were best ways of handling oil spill in the maritime environment.
Peterside said this on Monday while addressing participants at a training programme on “Oil Spill Response and Preparedness Training on the Job’’, organised by the European Union (EU) in Lagos.
The training is expected to last eight days.
The director-general decried the negative impact of oil spills on the marine environment and its effects on the livelihood of people living in coastal communities.
He said 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, there should be training of those that will handle the equipment.
“Hence this training is timely and highly appreciated, especially being granted free to our nation,’ the director-general said.
Peterside urged participants to give the training programme the seriousness it deserves.
He said that the expertise acquired after the training would be instrumental in dealing with issues of oil spills.
The director-general said that as an oil-producing nation, oil spills could not be ruled out of the Nigerian 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.
The training covers environmental management and sustainability toward achieving a cleaner environment by reducing pollution as a result of oil spillage in the Nigerian maritime environment.
The training is also 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).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the five prioritised countries from Africa are Nigeria, Senegal, Ghana, Cote D‘ivoire and Cameroun. (NAN)