Nigerian government condemns Shell for its response to the Bonga oil spill

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Bonga Oil Spill

Bonga Oil Spill

The Nigerian government has blasted Royal Dutch Shell for its response to the Bonga oil spill, saying it fell short of international and national standards.

The director-general of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Patrick Akpobolokemi, on Tuesday told a news conference in Lagos that the company has not behaved responsibly in the matter. On Dec. 20, an oil facility in Bonga, which is managed by a subsidiary company of Shell, experienced an oil spillage.

The Bonga facility, 120 km off Nigeria’s coast, produces 200, 000 barrels of crude oil per day. “There is a consensus from our team who visited the communities that Shell has not behaved responsibly and all agencies of government should come together to make Shell to pay for the ecosystem’s devastation,” Akpobolokemi told reporters.

He attributed the oil spillage to the failure of Shell to promptly take the right steps.

The director said when the spill was announced, NIMASA made a sea radio broadcast to all mariners and issued a marine notice in one of the daily newspapers to the general public about the spillage so as to curtail its spread to other areas. “In the beginning, it was 1,000 barrels of spillage before moving to between 30,000 and 40,000 barrels and possibly beyond,” he said.

Akpobolokemi said the magnitude of the spill could be compared to the Mobil spill which occurred in Nigeria’s territorial waters in 1998. He described the spill as a massive one which affected the vegetation, birds and aquatic creatures. Akpobolokemi, citing reports reaching the agency, said the spill had moved to Akwa Ibom, Delta and Bayelsa.

 

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