A non-governmental organization, AkwaIbom Oil Producing Community Development Network (AKIPCON) has issued a 21 days ultimatum to ExxonMobil to pay compensation to communities affected by its estimated 30,000 barrels of crude oil spills due to equipment failure in AkwaIbom.
AKIPCON with over 1000 other affliate groups said the devastating effect of the spills from medical reports evidence has led to the deaths of many, disruption of means of livelihood while others were in the hospital beds with no money to foot their bills.
A statement signed by the President General of AKIPCON, DrUfotPhenson made available to newsmen in Uyo on Tuesday, noted that the oil giants has not taken necessary measures to prevent the incessant occurenve of oil spills or oily waste discharges in the area.
“AKIPCON has strongly kicked against ExxonMobil who keeps on discharging treated effluent wastes, oil-spec products, oily waste, oily organic sludge, storm water, surface drainage, polluted water from tank farms (QIT) into Douglas Creek on daily basis.
“These are eventually washed and deposited into Qua Ibo River, Atlantic Ocean and other adjoining rivers, streams, swamps, ect. with attendant pollution of the environment and see foods, killing fishes and fingerlings as well as disruption of means of livelihood of the people being fishing and farming.
“A clear case in point is the ExxonMobil June 29, 2014 when due to the company’s equipment failure over 30,000 barrels of crude oil spilled into the Atlantic Ocean from Qua Ibo Terminal(QIT) – ExxonMobil facilities in Ibeno LGA.
“The Joint Investigation Visit(JIV) recommended among other things payment of adequate compensation to the affected communities, but ExxonMobil who was a member of the JIV team, bluntly refused to honour the report it was a signatory to.
“In a later addressed to the Counsel to IkotEbidang Special Caretaker Committee, Onna LGA, (Freedom Chambers, Uyo) and signed by Dr Emmanuel I. Kachikwu – Executive Vice Chairman /General Counsel of ExxonMobil, the company admitted the spill but had never done anything about compensation to the spill victims.” It said.
It expressed regret over the recasetrant attitude of International Oil Companies to issues bordering on the health and lives of host communities and warned that AKIPCON with it’saffliates could be forced to use other means to get their demands met.
“It is only in Nigeria that oil companies grow wings and do not comply with the laws meant to regulate their activities. They do not also comply with International Best Practices as they live above the law, whereas, the reverse is the case in their own country.
“Over 1000 farmers and fishing Multi-purpose Cooperative Society (MPCS), Groups and Associations in the state affiliated TO AKIPCON have given ExxonMobil and SPDC 21 days ultimatum to address oil and gas-lingering issues that is, payment of compensation on oil spills, gas flaring and emissions from corked and Uncorked oil wells belonging to SPDC.
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