Concerned Bonga Oil Spill Impacted Communities (CBOSIC) has given Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCO) a 14-day ultimatum to pay $3,600,191,206 as compensation to impacted communities as stipulated by Nigerian regulatory agencies.
The group, in a letter dated May 20, 2023, addressed to the Managing Director of SNEPCO, with copies made available to journalists in Warri, stated that it was displeased with the company hiding under litigations to frustrate the efforts of the victims to get compensation for degradation of their environment and subsequent loos of their livelihoods.
In the letter, copies of which were made to the Chief Executive NUPRC; the Director DSS in Bayelsa; Commander Operation Delta Safe (OPDS) Bayelsa; Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) Central Naval Command, Yenagoa, and AIG, Zone 16, Yenagoa, and signed by its chairman and secretary, Messrs Mike Tiemo and Gbigbi Nelson Andrew, CBOSIC threatened to take their destiny in their own hands at the expiration of the ultimatum.
CBOSIC said though it was aware that some impacted communities and victims were in court, its own claim was based on the findings and recommendations of the Nigerian regulatory agencies on the Bonga Oil Spill of December 20, 2011.
It recalled a notification of the sanction in respect of the oil spill dated December 19, 2014, by the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) an agency empowered by law as well as the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) another apex maritime regulatory body which slammed $6.5b against the Shell Group on the Bonga Oil Spill.
“We also recall the Britannia Steamship Insurance Policy Number -04929000 on MT Nothia IMO Number -9399480: The Clandestine Shell Group FUGRO Finger Printing Report Number-J36194 and the Affirmation by two United Kingdom High Court Judges Hon. Justice Stuart-Smith, Hon. Justice O’Farrell and UK Supreme Court that oil Bonga FPSO reached the shoreline communities of Bayelsa and Delta States within weeks after the 20th December spill,” it added.
The group therefore declared, “We the concerned Bonga Oil Spill Communities have also realised how vicious the Shell Group has been devastating and polluting our environment over several decades with impunity while hiding under needless and endless litigations to deliberately frustrate and impoverish our communities to avoid liability.”
CBOSIC noted that in the light of the fact that Shell Group had no regard for the Nigerian regulatory agencies and the federal government, they decided to take their destiny in their own hands and take necessary actions to force the company to pay what was due to them as compensation for their lost livelihoods.