By Eromosele Abiodun
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has commenced the Onne Port Channel Oil spill clean-up operations at the Federal Oceans Terminal (FOT) Onne.
The project of water channel clean-up is the first of such project being executed by the Personnel of Environment Department of the authority from both the Corporate Headquarters and the FOT.
Speaking on the sidelines of the kick off of the clean-up project at the Engineering Department premises at Federal Lighter Terminal (FLT) Onne, venue of the take-off of the operation, the Acting Port Manager Mrs Barbara Ejemeh Nchey-Achukwu who represented the Port Manager Alhassan Ismaila Abubakar, commended the wisdom of the Managing Director of NPA, Hadiza Bala-Usman for the approval for the commencement of the water channel clean-up at the Port.
She said the port manager was aware of various complains from terminal operators relating to oil pollution within the waters and was therefore excited with the new development in commencement of the water channel clean up. She said by this effort the NPA was showing a duty of care. She said that vessel owners had been complaining over oil spill stains on their vessels hauls calling at Onne Port, noting that after the exercise such complaints will be a thing of the past.
“I know after this exercise, terminal operators will no longer complain to Onne Port Management of stains on their anchored vessels”, Nchey-Achukwu stated.
In a brief tool box meeting at the premises of the Engineering Department FLT, Onne, General Manager HSE, Suleman Abdulbaki, said he and his team have come to Onne Port to clean up the water channels. He said they could not ascertain the actual cause of the oil spills at the Port, but suspected the activities of oil bunkers and waste from communities that empty into the water channels.
He said part of the activities they are doing is to remove debris from the waters and use chemicals to clean the water to achieve improved water.
He said they will also embark on awareness campaign to raise the consciousness of the people on the need for clean waters, to sustain aquaticlife and navigation.
Also speaking, the Assistant General Manager, Environment Khadijat Sheidu-Shabi said that NPA has decided to carry out this oil- spill clean up to improve the quality of the Port water channels, “As an Authority, we are proud to show commitment to improving the navigational water channels within Onne Port”, the AGM Environments Khadijat Sheidu-Shabi stated.
On his part, Principal Manager, and Coordinator on scene, and the Commander of Onne Port channel clean-up operations, Uchenna Chukwuemeka said materials to be deployed for the exercise includes Bio-degradable materials (PRP), Remediation Products (PRP) and Pressure washers for removal of oil stains on the quay walls and the fenders.
He said that the team will also be using scooping nets within the Onne water channels to remove floating debris, cans and seloteen bags within the Onne water channels.
Also, the manager in charge of pollution, Onne Port Mr. James Edetdescribed the team as passionate and professional to deliverclean and safe water within the Port channel. “We are set to achieve green Port status at Onne Port water Channel”, Mr James stated.