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Dr. Iziaq Adekunle Salako Highlights Nigeria’s Environmental Progress at Oil Spill Response Awards

By Faridat Salifu

The Honourable Minister of State for Environment, Dr. Iziaq Kunle Salako, delivered a keynote address at the maiden edition of the Oil Spill Response Environmental Award for the Oil and Gas Industry, held at Rockview Royale Hotel, Abuja on Thursday.

The event, organized by the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) in collaboration with the Stakeholder Democracy Network (SDN), aimed to recognize and celebrate exemplary environmental management practices within Nigeria’s oil and gas sector.

In his address, Dr. Salako emphasized the critical role of effective environmental regulation in the petroleum industry.

“Oil and gas is unarguably the world’s most vital but most environmentally disruptive industry,” he stated.

The Minister underscored the need for balancing the benefits of oil and gas production with environmental protection, public health, and sustainable national development.

Dr. Salako praised NOSDRA for its unwavering commitment to its mandate since its establishment in October 2006. The agency has significantly improved oil spill preparedness, response, cleanup, and remediation efforts.

He highlighted NOSDRA’s achievements, including the implementation of the National Oil Spill Contingency Plan (NOSCP), the development of Oil Spill Response and Cleanup Guidelines, and community engagement initiatives.

These measures have minimized environmental impacts and ensured the resilience of affected ecosystems and communities.

The Minister also called for continued improvement of regulatory frameworks, adoption of cleaner technologies, and enhanced collaboration among stakeholders.

He urged oil-producing communities to refrain from sabotage, which accounts for approximately 68.5% of oil spills in Nigeria, causing severe environmental degradation and economic loss.

Highlighting the importance of the awards, Dr. Salako noted that the Environmental Award for the oil and gas industry serves as a tool for driving change, promoting sustainability, and encouraging corporate responsibility.

The award recognizes companies and individuals who have set benchmarks in environmental management, proving that commitment to best practices is both necessary and profitable.

Dr. Salako concluded by congratulating NOSDRA and SDN for organizing the event and setting benchmarks for environmental excellence in the oil and gas sector.

He also reaffirmed the Ministry’s dedication to ensuring that health, safety, environmental, and community-related liabilities are met or properly inherited by succeeding companies, particularly in light of asset divestitures by international oil companies.

Earlier in the day, Dr. Salako also addressed the 8th Africa Energy Marketplace, advocating for investments in the energy sector to align with Nigeria’s Energy Transition Plan and Net Zero Emission targets.

He invited investors to deepen their investment in renewable energy, particularly for domestic use such as clean cooking, which has the potential to earn carbon credits.

The event underscored the Federal Government’s commitment to environmental sustainability and the vital role of effective regulation and collaboration in achieving a balance between economic growth and environmental preservation.

 

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