Nigerian Senators kick against $1bn clean-up funds for N/Delta

Inalegwu Shaibu

19 September, 2011, Sweetcrude, Abuja– Senators have expressed dissatisfaction with the $1 billion recommended by the United Nations (UN) for the clean-up of Niger Delta after years of oil spillage resulting from exploration activities of Shell Petroleum and other oil companies.

The senators, in a motion before the Senate, considered the $1 billion as too meagre for the total clean-up of the Niger Delta region after years of environmental degradation due to activities of oil companies in the region.

Senators Datti Baba-Ahmed, CPC, Kaduna North, and Esther Nenadi Usman, PDP, Kaduna, in the motion, condemned the omission of compensation for people of the region, whom they said had lost much of their economic rights due to the oil spillages.

They, therefore, sought an upward review of the fund to compensate for the huge hardships visited on the people of Niger Delta whose environment had been rendered useless by oil spillages.

The motion reads, “The Senate appreciate the recommendation of the UN for a $1 billion fund to clean up oil spills in the Niger Delta. The Senate equally welcomes the acceptance of responsibility for oil spills by Shell Petroleum.

“The Senate considers the amount of $1 billion as unrepresentative of the true situation in the Niger Delta and grossly inadequate for the enormous task and regrets that the proposed fund overlook the issue of compensation to communities and rehabilitation of deprived, destabilised and displaced persons.

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