Yemisi Izuora/Ijeoma Agudosi
The Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company,(SNEPCO) has been asked to pay $3.6 billion to affected communities of Bonga oil spill in the Niger Delta.
The National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency, (NOSDRA) which gave the directive said the agency had imposed a sanction on the company in 2014 for the damage done to the natural resources and means of livelihood by the spill since 2011.
NOSDRA’s Director-General, Peter Idabor, in a letter to the oil firm said the company did not make any attempt to provide relief materials for the shoreline fishing communities with respect to the acute and chronic impact of the crude oil on the environment.
“Despite the fact that the incident was caused by equipment failure and the admission by the then Managing Director that 40,000 barrels of crude oil spilled into the Atlantic Ocean, no attempt was made by the oil company to provide relief materials for the shoreline fishing communities with respect to the acute and chronic impact of the crude oil on the environment, the agency said.
Consequent upon that, the agency has therefore directed SNEPCO to pay the sum of $3,600,191,206.00 or its Naira equivalent as compensation and administrative costs for failure to effect clean up on the impacted site within the stipulated period, as provided in the agency’s Act and Regulations.
The agency said that by virtue of the latest reminder on the notification of sanction on the spill incident, SNEPCO should pay the said fine and compensation, or face the legal machinery available to the Agency to ensure its compliance.