Mkpoikana Udoma 14 January 2015, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt – “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.”
With these words, Mr. Mutiu Sunmonu, Managing Director of Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria, SPDC, recently announced a £55 million settlement agreement with the Bodo community in respect of the two oil spills in the area in 2008.
The community has since accepted the compensation, but its leaders are of the view that damages caused by the oil spill cannot be quantified by money.
Chairman of Bodo Community Council of Chiefs and Elders, Chief Sylvester Kogbara told SweetcrudeReports in Bodo that the community decided to accept the money from Shell “in good faith, so as to move forward in life”.
Chief Kogbara, said: “You cannot quantified the damage here in naira and kobo, what has happened here is far over and above the amount … Even UNEP looked at Bodo community and said it will take at least 30 years to clean up Bodo. If we have said let us quantified this, I don’t think Shell would have been able to pay.
“But since they (Shell) called for negotiation, we had to accept and what was agreed on the negotiation table we have to take it in demonstration of good faith, and we expect that Shell too should also go ahead to demonstrate this good faith in ensuring that our environment is cleaned up very quickly”.
One of the fishermen affected by the Bodo oil spill, Mr. Confidence Nyode, said it would take a long time to restore the aquatic lives in the polluted Bodo rivers.