RIVERS COMMUNITY SLAMS N200BN BILL ON SHELL, NPDC
The Egbema West community in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area of Rivers State has slammed a whopping N200 billion compensation bill on oil mogul, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and the Nigeria Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) for alleged 'excessive environmental pollution' of the area.
Also, the oil giant has been advised to vacate the area for allegedly playing a bad corporate guest.
The people of Egbema West made the call through the Chairman of their Community Relations Committee (CRC), Mr. Steve Aliba in Port Harcourt. He told reporters that the demanded money was to compensate the community for 'excessive environmental pollution' from the facilities of the two oil outfits that had allegedly led to the death of no fewer than 40 natives.
Accusing Shell of mindless exploitation of the people's peaceful disposition, Aliba said, 'no development has come to the community in terms of infrastructural provisions since the oil company entered the area in 1961.'
He said also that past appeals to the NPDC to provide such basic social amenities such as motorable roads, schools, hospitals, electricity and potable water had drawn blank. Furthermore, he said the natives were scarcely considered for employment by the company.
'On employment, they always tell us that they have no vacancy and that they will tell NNPC to do that, yet the NPDC employs natives of other African countries almost on daily basis.'
On the plight of the community, the CPC chairman said there was an oil pipe explosion near the Orashi River two weeks ago that destroyed so much aquatic lives, adding that the consequent pollution put fishermen out of business and destroyed farmlands.
Also speaking, the Women Leader of the CPC, Evangelist Evelyn Ifenna complained that lives had been lost due to the emission of poisonous gas from Shell and the NPDC facilities.
The people therefore urged the Federal Government to prevail on the two companies to pay them the N200 billion compensation as damages and leave the area.