Bonga oil spill: Shell faces more community grievances, as N3.6 billion fine intrigues linger
The intrigues trailing the N3.6 billion compensation for damages caused by the Bonga oil spill may be deepening, as the Ilaje communities in Ondo State, are currently considering a legal action against Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company, (SNEPCO), a subsidiary of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) for alleged marginalisation.
Specifically, the communities alleged that Shell appears to be excluding them from the compensation agreement reached between the communities and SNEPCO over the Bonga oil Spill since 2011.
The National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency, (NOSDRA), had also threatened to drag Shell to court over non-compliance with the directive to pay $3.6 billion to affected communities of Bonga oil spill of 20th December 2011.
The General Secretary of Abereke Communities and Field Coordinator, Communities Environmental Protection Committee of Ilaje land (CEPCOM), According to Prince Taiwo Aiyedatiwa, said despite the fact that Ilaje Coastal Communities of Ondo State are host Communities to SNEPCO at its Bonga Oil facility offshore Ilaje local government, based on the operational map of the Shell oil company at their disposal Shell has been failing to extend its corporate social responsibilities to the coastal communities.
He said: “Last year in the month of January 2014, we aware that SNEPCO called almost 88 coastal communities in Delta and Bayelsa State into stakeholder forum in Abuja through the house of representative committee on environment in which the Minister of Environment, NOSDRA, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and other regulatory bodies were in attendance where the company agreed to compensate the communities.
“But to our surprise, Ilaje local Government who are host communities to SNEPCO and was also affected by the oil spill in which we have reported in our various letters to the company, regulatory bodies and the general public since the oil spill occurred, but no single community was invited by the oil company and its committee that handled the matter as the oil spill affected five coastal states in the Niger Delta,” he stated.
They therefore urged the Federal Government to prevail on SNEPCO to invite the Ilaje coastal communities to the stakeholders forum and compensate them for their properties that was destroyed by the oil spill as well as carry out radiation which led to the cleaning up and bringing back the aquatic lives and fauna of the environments of the communities.