Environmental rights activists, led by Chima Williams, have asked the Federal Government to compel Shell Petroleum Development Company- SPDC – to pay compensation to communities and clean up the waters affected by the 2011 Bonga Spill along the Ondo, Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers and Akwa Ibom states.
Addressing a news conference on Thursday, the group accused Shell of ignoring government’s earlier directives to pay compensation and clean up communities affected by the spill.
Eight months after the Federal Government directed shell to pay 11.5 million dollars as compensation in February, community representatives have said that Shell has neither cleaned up the affected areas nor paid the compensations.
The National Co-ordinator, Hydro-Carbon Pollution Restoration Project (HYPREP), Joy Nunieh-Okunnu, has said that what oil thieves need is enlightenment on the effects their illegal activities have on the environment and the communities in which they operate.
“The only thing that you can do is to give them some form of enlightenment, to teach them the effects of Hydro Carbon.”
Speaking on this edition of Question Time, Nunieh-Okunnu talks about the efforts the environmental pollution clean-up unit of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources is making to ensure the well-being of the Ogoni people and other communities affected by Hydro-Carbon pollution.
She revealed that plans are underway to introduce the subject to students in secondary schools.
She said that the minister of petroleum resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, has asked that a team of professors be commissioned to prepare resources to be used in teaching students, the effects of hydro-carbon, in secondary schools.
She added that there are plans to carry out a campaign in the affected communities but urged individuals living along the pipeline right of way to relocate.
HYPREP is part of the UN Environmental Programme (UNEP) in Nigeria.