The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), says it is partnering with the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) on oil and gas disasters prevention in the territory.
The FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, said this in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Anthony Ogunleye on Friday in Abuja.
Bello spoke when he received a delegation from NOSDRA, led by its Director-General, Mr Idris Musa.
The minister said that collaboration between the FCTA and the agency was necessary to prevent and manage disasters in the FCT.
He commended NOSDRA for the vital role it was playing in protecting the territory’s environment.
The minister also commended the agency for making available maps detailing locations of petrol filling stations for prompt response to emergencies.
Bello called for strict control and regulation of gas dispensing stations in the FCT to ensure that they were not located too close to residential areas.
“I think this is one area that we have to be very strict and firm. Even where gas plants would be located, they have to be under tightest control and regulations.
“As you know, gas station do not require much land like a typical petrol station and there is a tendency if we are not careful, especially in the area councils and satellite towns, they will just be squeezed into areas of high concentration of people or within residential areas.”
Earlier, Musa explained that NOSDRA was a parastatal agency of the Federal Ministry of Environment with responsibility to carry out environmental management in the petroleum sector, covering the upstream, midstream and downstream.
He commended Development Control Department of the FCTA and Abuja Environmental Protection Board for ensuring that filling stations were established in tandem with environmental regulations.
Musa said NOSDRA had captured all the petrol and gas stations in the FCT and area councils through its ICT and GIS programmes.
He said that the agency had documented them in a map in its database for effective response during emergencies.
The director-general said NOSDRA had successfully introduced world class methods of installing underground petrol storage tanks at filling stations in a manner that would prevent seeping of petrol into the water table.
According to him, the method is now serving as a guide for existing and future projects.