Port Harcourt — The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People, MOSOP, says the country lost over $178.8billion since the exit of the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited from Ogoni oil fields, OML11 in 1993.
President of MOSOP, Mr. Fegalo Nsuke, said Nsuke said the figure, which is equivalent of N72trillion, represented oil revenue alone as the revenue losses from gas remains inestimable due to non-availability of statistical evidence.
Nsuke, who blamed Nigeria’s mismanagement of the Ogoni crisis for the huge financial losses, explained that the gas potentials and revenue generation capacity in Ogoniland, far exceeded that of its oil; saying that SPDC was producing 350,000bpd in Ogoni daily.
Blaming the financial losses on government’s failure and lack of commitment to resolve the Ogoni problem, the MOSOP President said the Ogoni people have demonstrated that they are ready for a resolution of the conflicts with the proposal for the implementation of an Ogoni Development Authority.
He added that the Ogoni struggle was a response to under-development and MOSOP is convinced that implementing a development plan such as the Ogoni Development Authority will be an excellent approach to resolve the Ogoni conflicts, boost economic development in Ogoni and improve the revenue base of the country.
“Based on available evidence from the oil industry, Ogoni’s oil production capacity stood at 350,000 barrels a day before the exit of Shell from Ogoni in 1993, At an estimated average of $50 for a barrel, Nigeria has lost an estimated $178. 850,000,000.00 for its mismanagement of the Ogoni crisis.
“Rather than listen and engage with the people, those who managed the country opted for the repressive approach of killing, maiming and torturing thus exacerbated and prolonged the conflicts.”
Nsuke said the continual delay by relevant agencies of government to accept the Ogoni demands and reach a deal with the Ogoni people does not only amount to economic sabotage but represents a threat to the security of the country.
He held that the repressive approach and divide and conquer tactics of the oil industry have only worsened the relationship between the government and the people and prolonged the conflicts, urging the government to accept MOSOP’s development proposals as the way forward to a speedy and peaceful resolution of the Ogoni conflicts.
“Money runs the government and so when those in government fail to take advantage of opportunities to resolve issues that affect the national economy, it does not only amount to sabotaging the economy but is also a threat to national security”
“I think the inability of decision makers to peacefully resolve the Ogoni crises in over 28 years leading to the loss of over $178 billion amounts to sabotaging the economy and national security.
“MOSOP led the struggle and I know you are willing to move on with it if your interests are not considered in any deal. It will be best for the government to consider our development proposals rather than allowing the oil industry to create mushroom groups and hope that those groups will pave the way to resume oil mining activities in Ogoni. The struggle for survival has been a collective struggle which no mushroom group can truncate.”
Recall that the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited, SPDC, was forced to leave Ogoni in early 1993 following a series of protests against the company’s poor environmental standards.
The Ogoni people have demanded the restoration of the environment, better environmental standards, economic reconstruction, an end to political discrimination and exoneration of Ogoni nine, including Ken Saro-Wiwa who were executed by the military government under General Sani Abacha.