January 07, 2015.
By: Ibrahim Olalekan
The £55 million settlement provides for an individual payment to each claimant who accepts the settlement agreement in compensation for losses arising from the spills, amounting to up to £35 million in total. The remaining £20 million payment will be made for the benefit of the Bodo community generally.
“From the outset, we’ve accepted responsibility for the two deeply regrettable operational spills in Bodo. We’ve always wanted to compensate the community fairly and we are pleased to have reached agreement,” said Mutiu Sunmonu, Managing Director of SPDC. “We are fully committed to the clean-up process being overseen by a former Netherlands’ Ambassador to Nigeria. Despite delays caused by divisions within the community, we are pleased that clean-up work will soon begin now that a plan has been agreed with the community.
“However, unless real action is taken to end the scourge of oil theft and illegal refining, which remains the main cause of environmental pollution and is the real tragedy of the Niger Delta, areas that are cleaned up will simply become re-impacted through these illegal activities.
“SPDC has made efforts to raise awareness of the issue with the government of Nigeria, international bodies like the United Nations, the media, civil society and international non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and we will continue to play an active role in the search for solutions. We urge all those with influence, including Bodo community leaders and NGO groups, to support this effort.”