Mkpoikana Udoma 06 January 2016, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt – Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, has dismissed the report by Amnesty International, AI, which claimed that the Dutch Company in Nigeria deceived the public to have cleaned up some hydrocarbon contaminated communities in Ogoniland.
Mr. Igo Weli
Recall that Amnesty International in November, marking the 20th anniversary of the execution of the Ogoni environmental activist and writer, Ken Saro-Wiwa, reported that four spill sites, namely Bomu Manifold, Barabeedom Swamp, Okuluebu and Boobanabe all in Ogoniland, were either not cleaned up or not properly cleaned by Shell.
Shell’s General Manager, NCD, Mr. Igo Weli, during an interactive session with journalists in Port Harcourt, affirmed that the said spill sites were thoroughly cleaned up and duly certified by the Federal Government through the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency, NOSDRA.
Weli, who described the 2nd November report issued by Amnesty International as misleading, said AI did not include the causes of the later spills, which, according to him, was solely caused by third party interference which led to a recontamination of the Ogoni environment.
“There are some spills from third party interference, that is, theft, illegal bunkering.
“Since 2011 till date, we having been publishing details of our spills, JIV reports and what ever we are doing on our website, which I don’t think any other multinationals does that religiously as we do,” Weli said.
He continued: “Essentially, the recontamination resulting from subsequent spills in 2013-2014 are what AI saw and thought that they are parts of the spills from 2009 and claimed that they have not been remediated. So how could SPDC therefore claim that the sites have been certified clean.
“This is the confusion that AI was not able to pull together and our investigation prove otherwise that indeed, the sites and the spills that AI referred to have been under control.
“The recent recontamination seen in the area is as a result of new spills which was sabotage spills between 2013-2014. And we would have started the remediation of that sites, we started cleaning up oil from the sites but then access was denied; it was only about five weeks ago that we were granted access again and we have started remediation work on those sites”.