National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA)

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NOSDRA was established by the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Act of 2006. It was established with responsibility for preparedness, detection, and response to oil spillages in Nigeria. Its Head office is at 5th floor NAIC House plot 590, zone AO, Central Business District, Abuja. With its zonal offices in Lagos, Akure, Porth-court, Warri, Kaduna, Uyo, Kogi, Gombe and Bayelsa.

The National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) was established in 2006 as an institutional framework to co-ordinate the implementation of the National Oil Spill Contingency Plan (NOSCP) for Nigeria in accordance with the International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Cooperation (OPRC 90) to which Nigeria is a signatory. Since its establishment, the Agency has been intensely occupied with ensuring compliance with environment legislation in the Nigerian Petroleum Sector.

The Agency embarks on Joint Investigation Visits, ensures the remediation of impacted sites and monitors oil spill drill exercises and facilities inspection.

It has set up Zonal Offices in Port Harcourt, Warri, and Uyo all in the Niger-Delta region where much of oil exploration and production in Nigeria is carried out and there are also zonal offices in Lagos, Kaduna, Kogi, Gombe and Akure. NOSDRA is currently liaising with relevant stakeholders in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry to evolve practical methods of environmental management to cope with the dynamics of the Petroleum Sector.

Mission Statement

To restore and preserve our environment by ensuring best Oil field, storage and transmission practices in exploration, production and use of oil in the quest to achieve sustainable development in Nigeria The Federal Government established the National Oil Spill Detection And Response Agency (NOSDRA) as an institutional framework to implement the National Oil Spill Contingency Plan.

Vision Statement

To create, nurture and sustain a zero tolerance for oil spill incident in the Nigerian Environment.

Oil in Nigeria: a history of spills, fines and fights for rights

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Oil was first found in Nigeria in 1956, then a British protectorate, by a joint operation between Royal Dutch Shell and British Petroleum. The two begun production in 1958, and were soon joined by a host of other foreign oil companies in the 1960s after the country gained independence and, shortly after, fell into civil war.

The rapidly expanding oil industry was dogged in controversy from early on, with criticism that its financial proceeds were being exported or lost in corruption rather than used to help the millions living on $1 a day in the Niger delta or reduce its impact on the local environment.

A major 1970 oil spill in Ogoni land in the south-east of Nigeria led to thousands of gallons being spilt on farmland and rivers, ultimately leading to a £26m fine for Shell in Nigerian courts 30 years later. According to the Nigerian government, there were more than 7,000 spills between 1970 and 2000.

In 1990, the government announced a new round of oil field licensing, the largest since the 1960s. Non-violent opposition to the oil companies by the Ogoni people in the early 1990s over the contamination of their land and lack of financial benefit from the oil revenues attracted international attention. Then, in 1995, Ogoni author and campaigner Ken Saro-Wiwa was charged with incitement to murder and executed by Nigeria's military government. In 2009, Shell agreed to pay £9.6m out of court, in a settlement of a legal action which accused it of collaborating in the execution of Saro-Wiwa and eight other tribal leaders.

In an escalation of opposition to the environmental degradation and underdevelopment, armed groups began sabotaging pipelines and kidnapping oil company staff from 2006, with a ceasefire called in 2009 by one group, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta. A year later it announced an "all-out oil war" after a crackdown by the Nigerian military.

Hundreds of minor court cases are brought each year in Nigeria over oil spills and pollution. Last year, Shell admitted spilling 14,000 tonnes of crude oil in the creeks of the Niger delta in 2009, double the year before and quadruple that of 2007.