Niger Delta Pollution: NDC Seeks N75bn Compensation From FG, Shell

The Niger Delta Congress (NDC), on Monday, stated that it is seeking a 75 billion dollars compensation for the Niger Delta people.

In a statement, Adokiye Oyagiri, its acting spokesperson confirmed the findings of the report by Friends of the Earth Europe, Environmental Rights Action, Milieudefensie, and Amnesty International.

The report, released on Thursday June 18, noted that only less than 10 per cent of the project funds released and just 11 per cent of impacted sites have covered so far.

Reacting to the statement, NDC said, “The Federal Government’s implementation of the 2011 UN Environment Programme (UNEP) report has been a failure.

“At the current pace, the first phase of the cleanup meant to last five years is now on track to take 40 years.
“This extends the 30-year period estimated by UNEP, for the Ogoni environment to return to its natural state, to 70 years.

“The report also emphasized the shoddy work being done, with 11 out of the 16 companies contracted for the purpose not having any experience in environmental remediation,” it said.

The NDC said it “is aware that the Ogoni Cleanup is a ruse to sneak back into Ogoni for the resumption of oil exploration, as the Ogoni field is among the 57 oil fields being auctioned by the government.

“This is also why four years after the launch, the people still continue to die from consuming polluted drinking water. The Nigerian state is simply gambling with the lives of the Niger Delta people.”

The organization added that according to oil production data from the National Bureau of Statistics, in its October 2017 report, 32 billion barrels of oil valued at 118 trillion naira has been mined from the Niger Delta between 1961 and 2014.

From this figure, the NDC calculated that the Niger Delta has earned a meager 16 trillion naira as “derivation”.

The NDC estimated from the NBS figures that the Nigerian government is indebted to the Niger Delta people withheld revenue in excess of 70 trillion naira.

It said, “as a result of the devastating consequences of oil production, the NDC is seeking a 75 billion naira compensation for the Niger Delta people.”

The NDC therefore called for the immediate commencement of an environmental assessment of the entire Niger Delta region, and a subsequent comprehensive cleanup of the region which will be funded by all oil exploration companies in the region in collaboration with the Nigerian government.

It added that this exercise would be supervised by representatives and nominees of the Niger Delta people.

The NDC also reiterated its June 15 call for prospective bidders for new oil fields in the region to desist, while also urging the Niger Delta people to organize themselves to resist any such incursion on their lands until the demands of the people are met.

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Anita Eboigbe

Anita Eboigbe is a journalist and data analyst with nearly a decade of media and communications experience in Nigeria. She has expertise in human interest reporting, data reporting, interactive content development and media business management. Anita has written for several national and international publications with a focus on communication for development. She holds an honours degree in Mass Communication and several certifications in data analysis and data journalism.

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