By: Chidimma C. Okeke
Shell Oil Company has paid the sum of £55m (N15.4bn) as compensation to communities devastated by oil spills in the Niger Delta region of the country.
Amnesty International and the Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development, yesterday, said the payment of compensation which was long-overdue, was an important victory for the victims.
The oil spills which occurred six years ago was said to have destroyed thousands of livelihoods in the Bodo area and legal action in the UK has driven Shell to agree to an out-of-court settlement of £55m to compensate the affected community.
Of the £55m, £35m would be used to settle 15,600 individuals and £20m for the community.
Director of Global Issues at Amnesty International, Audrey Gaughran, said the pay-out was a long awaited victory for the thousands of people who lost their livelihoods in Bodo, adding that the settlement, which he described as “close to fair compensation,” ought not to have taken six years to get. She said Shell knew that the Bodo spill was an accident waiting to happen and took no effective action to stop it, making false claims on the amount of oil that was split.
SOURCE: DAILY TRUST