Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Ahoada West LG Accuses Nigerian Agip Oil Company Of Environmental Destruction, Demands N15 Billion Compensation

Sam Eligwe
By Chioma Andy

Communities in Ahoada West Local Government Area of Rivers State has called on the Rivers State House of Assembly to call on Nigerian Agip Oil Company Limited for a public hearing on environmental destruction caused by  the aforementioned company.

They are demanding for compensation to the tune of N15 Billion (fifteen billion naira) and a comprehensive regime of environmental clean-up, remedy work and natural resources restoration of the crude oil devastated environment of the said communities.

The request which came as a petition by John Okuza, representing the other communities and presented by Hon Sam Eligwe, member representing Ahoada West constituency, on Wednesday, 20th 2013, alleged Agip of causing gross environmental hazards which has resulted in crude oil pollution in the communities. click on read more to continue with the story
The petition mentioned 151 communities that were affected by the foregoing crude oil spillages with the quantities in barrels and litres, dates of spill were available also specified.  
The complaints contained in the petition were:
a.       Extensive unabated crude oil pollution of the economic trees, sources of water, waste bodies, destruction of economic trees and environment, destruction of fishing and fish rights.
b.      Refusal to properly clean up crude oil spill sites.

c.       Refusal to carry out remedial work or natural resources restoration of crude oil impact sites.
d.      Constant resort to plea of sabotage to evade payment of compensation to land owners and property owners.
e.       Abandonment of crude oil polluted environment for long periods of time resulting in extensive environmental damage. And
f.       Using aged, disused, old, dilapidated oil pipelines resulting in severe environmental damage.

In their observation as contained in the petition, they said that Agip Oil had by its conduct engaged in crude oil spills that caused property damages to their community, breached and violated environmental laws of Rivers State and the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
In their request, they demanded that the House Committee on Environment and Niger Delta Development Commission undertakes investigation of the crude oil polluted sites immediately in company of Agip and the communities’ landlords.

They said that their reason for requesting for a public hearing was to tender and show with pictures, video recordings and documents on how Agip Oil used to avoid compliance with regulations and sanctions by Government.

Meanwhile, The speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Otelemaba Amachree delegated the House Standing Committee on Public Complaints and Petitions to look into the matter and report back to the house in a short time.

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