Nigeria witnessed 1,879 cases of oil spill in the Niger Delta since January 2014, the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency, NOSDRA, has reported. According to NOSDRA, only 64 of the spill cases have been cleaned up.
NOSDRA, in a document entitled, ‘Addressing the South South’s Environmental Emergency’ obtained by SweetcrudeReports, revealed that 10 reported spill cases discharged over 150,000 litres of oil into the environment.
In addition to the spill cases, the document stated that there was need to overhaul the Joint Investigation Visits, JIVs – a meeting of a cross representation of affected oil companies, affected communities and regulators at the spill site.
JIV teams usually assessed the cause of the spill, amount spilled and estimate the scale of environmental impact.
However, the document explained that upon close examination conducted by Stakeholders Development Network, SDN, there has been well documented concerns with the way in which the JIV is funded and carried out.
“The credibility of the JIV is seriously undermined due to the process’s economic dependency on International Oil Companies. The Oil companies whose infrastructure is comprised pays for all aspects of the JIV, from arranging transport, organising community representation to testing soil and water samples.
“The legitimacy of the community representation at the JIV is regularly called into question by community members leading to questions around the legitimacy of the entire JIV process.
“A poor or incomplete initial record of the impact of oil spills is also a major concern amongst observers, and makes any future disputes and claims over what actually occurred extremely difficult and fraught with conflict and disagreement,” the document stated.