$3.6bn Levy: Shell Attempting to Evade Court Verdict, Says ERA

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Warns Shell to Stay away from HYPREP Board

From: AgroNature Admin

Executive Director, Environmental Rights Action (ERA), Dr. Uyi Ojo has blamed Shell Nigeria Exploration and Petroleum Company Limited (SNEPCO) for attempting to frustrate court judgement on a $3.6 billion levy against it.

Federal High Court in Lagos had recently ruled in favour of National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), asking Shell to pay the levy as compensation to about 350 affected communities in the Niger Delta region.

But Ojo argued that Shell was taking undue advantage of weak provisions of the regulatory agencies, thus calling for quick approval of the renewed Act which sets up the agency.

He further kicked against inclusion of Shell among institutions (HYPREP) tasked with oversight functions for the Ogoniland clean-up exercise.

His words: “We are aware that Shell is involved in issues to ensure there are relaxed and weak environmental laws and also weak compliance. This is a challenge facing not just Nigerians but developing countries at large so much so that, in the Ogoni clean-up, the federal government has setup institutions but do you know Shell is a member of the council that will provide oversight functions for the cleanup that was caused by shell.”

“When you see things oscillating, there are political powers under it which Shell, we strongly believe are capitalizing on, so we are of the opinion that shell should excuse itself from the governing council of HYPREP and other structures in order to function well in the clean-up

“The pollutant pay principle should apply. Pay what is required of you and let other government and agencies we know takeover the clean-up,” Ojo added.

According to him, GAS flaring has been prohibited in Nigeria by the Gas Rejection Act of 1984 but gas flaring still persist till date.

The Senate Committee Chairman on Ecology and Climate Change, Sen. Bukar Abba promised to revisit the pending laws as expedite action on the proposed bill for the enactment of law to promote renewable energy in Nigeria.

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