By Omonode Best
The Director General, National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency, NOSDRA, Mr. Idris Musa, has said that the proposed scraping of the agency would not only have great consequences on the environment, but will return the nation to the Dark Age.
Mr. Musa, who stated this during an interactive session with journalists in Abuja, advised that the agency should be spared but strengthened in order to delivers its mandate to Nigerians, especially in the Niger Delta region, which has suffered devastating oil spill impact.
Musa, who spoke in view of recent moves by the Federal Government to embark on streamlining of government agencies, said NOSDRA plays very crucial role in ensuring the protection and of environment.
He said NOSDRA was among few globally recognised agencies having established through the Act of international convention charged with mandate to safeguard the maritime environment from any form of pollution.
Recall President Muhammadu Buhari recently directed the Federal executive Council, FEC, to review the Oronseye report on streamlining government agencies.
The review of draft white paper on Oronsaye committee report, were parts of numerous steps being taking by the government cut cost in the wake of economic downturn in the country.
The Presidential Committee on Reform of Government agencies had recommended the reduction of statutory agencies of government from 263 to 161.
The proposal, which contained in an 800-page report, was submitted to former President Goodluck Jonathan by the former Head of Service and Chairman of the Committee, Steve Oronsaye, but nothing was done to implement the report by the administration.
Speaking further, Musa was however optimistic he present administration of the course of implementing the report will see reasons why NOSDRA should be retained to prevent the nation from having oil pollution.
According to him, “ And we believe that this government too will also see reason why NOSDRA as an agency of Ministry of environment should stay and make sure we don’t have oil pollution.