Bonga oil spill: Nigerian Senate summons Shell, others

23 December 2011, Sweetcrude, ABUJA – The Nigerian Senate has summoned the management of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and officials of the Ministry of Environment over the oil spill in the Shell-operated Bonga deep water facility off the coast of Nigeria.

Others to appear before the Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology committee are officials of National Environmental Standards and Regulation Enforcement Agency (NESREA) and National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA).

Chairman of the committee, Senator Bukola Saraki, speaking on behalf of the committee, told journalists that the committee would conduct a comprehensive investigation into the oil spillage.

According to him:”The information suggests that this spill has released over 30,000 barrels of oil spilled off the Nigerian coast. It will be recalled that the last time Nigeria had this level of spillage was in 1997 from Mobil producing facility in Nigeria.

“One of the things we are trying to do is to invite the managing director of NOSREA, NOSDRA, ministry of environment and the managing director of SNEPCO, the shell company involved. And we will visit the site as soon as possible to provide logistic support,” he said.

Decrying the lack of technical equipment to control such situations by NOSDRA, the agency which he said was directly responsible for checking oil spill in the country, Saraki said: “To the best of our knowledge NOSDRA lacks the necessary equipments such as boats, vessels to navigate the typical terrain where most of this spill took place. The agency now rely almost exclusively on the grace and benevolence of the oil companies in this case Shell.”

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