The Director-General of the National Orientation Agency (NOA) Dr. Garba Abari has called on Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA’s) of government to leverage the spread, expertise and experience of the NOA to enhance their public enlightenment efforts under their respective mandates.
Abari made the call when the Director-General of the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) Idris Musa led his management team on courtesy visit to the NOA Headquarters in Abuja.
The NOA Director-General said there is need to consistently engage citizens, on one hand, about the policies, programmes and activities of MDA’s so that they are aware and can appropriately hold government accountable while communicating with the youth on the grave dangers of economic sabotage through pipeline vandalism. He further noted that funds and efforts required to repair damages caused by vandalism would have been channeled to other productive uses, adding that resorting to economic sabotage cannot be the answer to the unemployment challenges facing the youth or a retaliation for issues with oil companies in our communities as it brings self-inflicted economic and environmental degradation.
In his words, “NOSDRA is right to seek NOA’s collaboration in tackling pipeline vandalism through sustained enlightenment campaign to stop this economic sabotage because the mandate of NOSDRA makes it imperative for it to partner with NOA”.
In his remarks, the Director-General, NOSDRA, Alh. Idris Musa said over 70% of oil spills in the country is traceable to vandalism and have negative impacts on man, the environment and the economy. He noted that the Federal Government holds an average of 60% equity in majority of the international oil companies operating in Nigeria, hence, attacking oil installations is attacking the country.
Musa therefore stressed the need for effective sensitization of Nigerians on the unpleasant impact of oil installation vandalism. He said this necessitated the visit to the NOA to serve as an opportunity for interaction on workable and effective strategies for advocacy that would help raise citizens’ awareness of the negative impacts of operations in upstream, midstream and downstream sectors of the Petroleum Industry and the roles of the citizens in ensuring safe environment and suitable development in Nigeria.
NOSDRA was established by the National Assembly Act No. 15 of 2006 and is statutorily empowered to co-ordinate oil spill management and ensure the implementation of the National Oil Spill Contingency Plan for Nigeria in accordance with the International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Cooperation (OPRC) 1990.