June 8, 2023

Nigeria Transport Hub

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Airports to House Emergency Oil Response Equipment

3 min read

National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency, NOSDRA, men at work

The Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, has directed the Managing Director of Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, to create space in four international airports to builD aircraft hangar, as well as warehouses to store and stockpile emergency oil response equipment and materials.

The directive was at the behest of the visit to the Minister of Aviation by the Minister of State for the Environment Ministry, Mrs Sharon Ikeazor, who requested for space at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, Kaduna International Airport, Kaduna, Port Harcourt International Airport, Port Harcourt, and the Magret Ekpo International Airport, Calabar.

Hence, the Aviation Minister directed the Managing Director of FAAN, Capt. Hamisu Rabiu Yadudu, to provide adequate space in each of the four airports, suitable for the emergency equipment storage, by the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency, NOSDRA, in preparation for a prompt response to any future emergencies.

According to the Director-General, NOSDRA, Musa Idris, while fielding questions from journalists in Abuja, said the fire incident that recently gutted the Oando, OVH Tank Farm in Apapa, Lagos, last Thursday night, compelled the Minister of State for Environment, Sharon Ikeazor, to approach the Aviation Minister on the need to have the oil spill/fire response facilities at airports cities with considerable oil storage.

Barrister Sharon Ikeazor, Minister of State, Environment

Musa Idris said that prior to the Oando tank firm fire in Lagos, the agency had begun development of local capacity, sufficiently capable in offering meaningful assistance to combat oil spill and fire outbreaks in locations where oil commodities exist.

He, however, added that NOSDRA had made a giant leap in this regard as, “Indeed, we are 70 per cent into an agreement with a local company that has the capacity to assist both in terms of oil spills and fire incidents”, Idris said.

NOSDRA helmsman further revealed some of the quick and calculated steps already taken by the agency thus, “We have the approval and endorsement of the Minister of State for Environment, who made visits to the Federal Ministry of Aviation to seek for places in four major airports in Nigeria including Lagos, Port Harcourt, Kaduna and Calabar.”

Asked of the rationale for including Kaduna when it’s not an oil prospecting state, Idris explained the refinery sited in Kaduna, informed the choice of the Kaduna Airport. And that oil commodities could be air freight conveniently from the airport.

The DG enthused, “Having consulted with the Minister of Aviation, he has given directive for FAAN to allocate spaces for us in those airports for an aircraft hangar, as well as warehouses to store and stockpile oil response equipment and materials,” Idris stated.

There is no iota of doubt that, those emergency equipment including but not limited to the fire-fighting helicopter will be very useful for other airport emergencies. A symbiotic association that is sure to be mutually beneficial.

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