Saturday, July 3, 2010

Oil Spill: Environment Practitioners Want Compensation from Shell

From Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja and Okon Bassey in Uyo Thisday 06.30.2010

The leadership of Environmental Health Service Providers Association of Nigeria has asked the Anglo-Dutch oil exploration giant, Shell Petroleum Development Company to commence the process of remediation of all areas affected by its operations and to also ensure that the affected communities are adequately compensated.

Their demand is coming as Mobil Producing Nigeria (MPN) Unlimited, an affiliate of American oil giant, Exxonmobil is battling to contain the effect of oil spill recorded June 20, 2010. The company has also just recorded another spill from its facility. The latest spill was reportedly discharged into the Atlantic Ocean from the Yoho production platform within the Qua Iboe oil fields.

The Association’s National President, Chief Herbert Anyadike, who spoke to journalists in Abuja said based on the experience of the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico where the company was compelled by the United States to pay compensation totalling about $20 billion, Shell should also be made to make similar commitment to the people of the Niger Delta.

"You know what use to be in the riverine areas where oil will spill and remain there for many years without anyone taking care of it. Those people who have been here living with this problem over the years and have been clamouring for compensation has been justified.

The United States of America has just opened their eyes to tell Shell that what they did in their country was wrong".
"The Shell company has been short-changing this country and nobody has called them to order, to compensate this country and her people who are victims of victims of oil spillage", he said.

He said with the evolving issues in relation to the threat of oil spill to the safety of the environment and its attendant damage to human health, federal government should prevail on Shell as well any other oil company that spills oil in the Niger Delta to remediate it and pay compensation to the people.

Speaking on measures to improve the state of environmental sanitation in the country, Anyadike said the association is pursuing a mandatory registration of all companies engaged in environemental and sanitation business in Nigeria.
He said only those companies that registers, with the body would be allowed to practice and carry-on their roles as service providers in the environmental sanitation sub-sector.

Anyadike called on government agencies and private organisations to stop patronizing quacks in the award of contracts on sanitation and refuse disposal, adding that it is mandatory for them to demand as an evidence certificate of registration by the Environmental Health Officers Registration Council of Nigeria (EHORECON).

Meanwhile, in a one-paragraph statement announcing the latest oil spill, "Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (MPN), operator of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)/MPN Joint Venture, confirms that a discharge occurred at Yoho production platform.According to the official statement, the regulatory authorities were notified and the discharge was dispersed and evaporated".st oil spillage, nothing has been done", he lamented.

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