Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC) and the federal government have concluded preparations to activate a National Oil Spill Contingency Plan (NOSCP).

Director-General of National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), Peter Idabor said the NOSCP would take care of oil spill management in the Nigerian environment, as well as the responsibility of ensuring timely, effective response to clean up and remediation.

Since the last revision of the NOSCP document in 2010, two activations were done in 2011 and 2013; the latter helping to clean up a spill in Bonga- off the Lagos coast.

Between 2011 till date, Reuters says the two key players in the Niger Delta, Shell and Eni, have reported 1,010 and 820 spills respectively. Idabor said the 2018 NOSCP is in accordance with the international convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, and Response Co-operation, which was signed in 1990.

Though no major oil spill was mentioned, the NOSDRA DG said, the activation exercise will test the effectiveness of the incident management structure and assess the emergency preparedness of major stakeholders in oil spill containment, among others.

The 2010 NOSCP, creates three tiers of clean-up. First, the cooperative plan or Clean Nigeria Associates needs the effort of two or more companies. The government plan is activated in response to a major spill.

According to the NOSCP document, the government or national plan provides the organizational structure, command and control, communication network and information service to ensure that Government can be kept fully informed of any spill occurrence, monitor the spill response and intervene when required so as to cope with all spills which threaten the Nigerian environment.

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