Leaders of Amazor Community in Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa State have advised the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) against moves to pay compensation without carrying out a post-spill Impact Assessment of communities affected in May 2018 Trans Ramos Pipeline Oil Spill which devastated Amazor and its communities in the River Ramos Area.
The Chairman, Chiefs and Elders’ Council of Amazor Community, Chief (Dr.) Gari Suwa, in a statement yesterday, said the council was aware of plans by the company to discuss compensation with some handpicked members of the community.
He, however, warned that such move would be in violation of extant laws, and against the spirit of resolution reached in a meeting with the National Oil Spill Detection and Remediation Agency (NOSDRA) last September. Suwa alleged that the oil giant has already handpicked some of its hirelings in the communities to discuss compensation to truncate and/or pre-empt the PSIA and Damage Assessment already concluded by NOSDRA with the full participation of SPDC in December 2018.
The statement reads: “I was surprised that my community chairman and his attorney were among those SPDC invited in January and May 2019 to discuss compensation, while we were awaiting the release of the report of the PSIA and damage assessment carried out and concluded by NOSDRA with the full participation of SPDC in December 2018.
“The resolution was to the effect that the payment of compensation in respect of the SPDC spillage shall be based on the PSIA and Damage Assessment already conducted and concluded by NOSDRA, and not by SPDC’s dictated compensation that was based on SPDC’s JIV Report.”
The community leader urged NOSDRA to sanction SPDC for her impunity and for trying to manipulate and short-change the communities in an oil spill.