Following a three-year legal battle, the Shell Petroleum Company of Nigeria (SPDC) have agreed to pay $35m in compensation the the people in Bodo, Nigeria.
Although SPDC have insisted that most of the oil pollution in the Niger Delta region was caused by sabotage, theft and illegal refining they are set to clean up the affected area. Chief Sylvester Kogbara, chair of the Bodo council of chiefs and elders, said his community was happy the case had finally been laid to rest and hoped it would forge better relations between Shell and other Delta communities. “We are hopeful that the clean-up of the Bodo environment will follow suit in no distant time,” he said.
SPDC managing director Mutiu Sunmonu said the company had accepted responsibility for the “deeply regrettable” operational failures on the Bomu-Bonny pipeline “from the outset”. “We’ve always wanted to compensate the community fairly and we are pleased to have reached agreement,” he said. “We are fully committed to the clean-up process. Despite delays caused by divisions within the community, we are pleased that clean-up work will soon begin.”
The clean-up is expected to begin over the next two to three months.