NNPC to reduce impact of oil exploration on the environment
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has expressed commitments to reduce the impact of its oil exploration and exploitation activities on the environment as a means of preserving and conserving wildlife resources.
This move, according to the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and Group Managing Director of NNPC, Ibe Kachikwu, demonstrate its support for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) on best environmental management practices.
Kachikwu made this commitment during the 2016 World Environment Day (WED) with the theme: “Illegal Trade in Wildlife” and NNPC adopted the slogan “Let’s Go Wild for Life” at the NNPC Towers in Abuja.
Represented by the Chief Operating Officer, Corporate Services, Isa Inuwa, he noted that as part of the corporation’s determination to conserve wildlife, it has set up the Lekki Conservation Center with the support of Chevron Nigeria Limited and Finima Nature Park in Bonny with the support of the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG).
He stated that over time, the Federal Government has recognized the importance of wildlife resources and demonstrated its commitment to its preservation by establishing National Parks and Game Reserves for the protection and preservation of wildlife and their natural habitats.
According to him, stopping illegal trade in wildlife would ensure the preservation and maintenance of population of useful species, conservation of wildlife for education and research, protection of the fauna and flora resources from over exploitation for medicine and other economic products and expansion of the sphere for tourism and national development towards job creation through documentary research and supply of cellulose.
He urged every staff of the corporation to support wildlife preservation and conservation in Nigeria for sustainable environment adding that the safety of these endangered species form the success of the NNPC.
Inuwa however, said that though the practice of illegal wildlife trade is not common in Nigeria, the business of oil exploration and exploitation affects the environment where such creatures occupy stressing that there is the need for concerted efforts to safeguard the environment and wildlife from devastation.
Presenting a technical paper on the impact of oil and gas activities on conservation of wildlife in Nigeria, the Guest Speaker, Barr. Millicent Ele said the activities of the industry impact negatively on wildlife and called on operators to adopt best practices in order to preserve the fauna and flora for wildlife habitat.
She called for the strict enforcement of environmental regulations in order for oil companies to operate in line with best practices.