By Tayo Joseph Lagos, Nigeria
Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru, has said that the corporation’s recently re-commissioned Mosimi and Kano depots have impacted positively on highways across the Country.
Dr. Baru, who spoke during the 2017 World Environment Day (WED) in NNPC Towers, Abuja today said the two depots had relieved the impacts of long haulage of petroleum products on the roads, saving the nation of serious environmental consequences of bridging to motorists, settlements along highways and the general ecosystem in the country.
Delivering the Keynote address at the occasion, Dr Baru said as an oil & gas company, NNPC acknowledged the importance of promoting environmental protection and sustainability across its value chain, stressing that NNPC was committed to environment friendly operations in the exercise of its mandate to explore and exploit the nation’s vast hydrocarbon resources for the benefit of all Nigerians.
Dr. Baru said the theme of this year’s WED celebration – “Connecting People to Nature’’ would propel the industry to get closer to nature and appreciate its beauty and splendor, while heeding the call to protect the mother earth that we share.
“We have over the years strived to maintain a healthy balance between our operations and the environment we operate in. This commitment has remained sacrosanct despite the numerous challenges resulting from pipeline vandalism and illegal bunkering activities that continue to impact on the quality of the environment we desire to safeguard’’ Baru stated.
He informed that in furtherance of its resolve to protecting the environment from avoidable hazards, the Corporation engaged the services of national and private security organizations to safeguard critical oil and gas infrastructure thereby curbing the menace of vandalism and the associated environmental damages.
The NNPC GMD aligned the Corporation with what he described as the globally agreed philosophy that seeks to maintain a healthy balance between exploitation of natural resources and preservation of the environment.
He also used the occasion to announce some positive strides recorded as a result of deliberate effort by Management to increase its environmental management quotient through increased compliance to International Standards Certification for its processes and operations.
“Today some of our Strategic Business Units, SBUs, are ISO 14001 and 9001 Certified Environmental Management System and Quality Management System respectively. Just recently, Management approved ISO 14001 Implementation and certification of NNPC Towers and this process is currently ongoing, ’’ he said.
In his paper entitled: Living Green in a Toxiferous Environment, guest lecturer, Dr. Evans Chidi of the Federal University of Technology, FUT, Minna, traced the advent of the World Environment Day celebration to 1972 when the United Nations General Assembly unanimously voted to designate a day for the sole purpose of engendering a lasting discussion on the integration and interplay of human interaction and the environment.
He noted that the thematic preoccupation of WED through the years had been consistent with the desire to promote eco-friendliness in all human endeavors.
Earlier in his welcome speech, Ahmed Shehu, General Manager in charge of Health, Safety and the Environment Department of the Corporation, noted that to achieve eco-friendliness, mankind must appreciate how other creatures – animals, Mountains, forests and swamps contribute to achieving the much needed delicate balance of the eco-system.
He explained that uncontrolled adventure into the environment has the potential to wreak havoc on Country Executive Director