Nigeria: Petitioners Kick, As Reps Discharge Complaints Against Oil Firms

Two groups of petitioners, who had taken their complaints against Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and its agent, NESTOIL Plc, to House of Representatives, yesterday, decried the discharge of their grievances by the House Committee on Public Petitions, which has been investigating the case, without giving them reasons for doing so.

Appearing unrelenting, the petitioners vowed to take their complaints to President Muhammadu Buhari and other relevant authorities, rather than take laws into their hands by interrupting activities of the oil firms.

One of the petitions submitted to the representatives was on alleged blockage of the waterways of Imiringi, Otuasega, Oruma and Elebele in Bayelsa State, by NESTOIL Plc, a situation, which the petitioner, Igbila Sunday, on behalf of the communities, claimed was adversely affecting economic activities in the areas.

The second one, also signed by Chairman, Chief Council, Akipalai Community, Ogbia Local Government Government Area of Bayelsa State, Chief Christopher Eto, complained of non-compliance of SPDC to terms of agreement in accepting, but reneging on the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) it entered with the community to provide pipe borne water and electricity to the community.

The letter dated September 2, 2015, admitted however, that “the company provided the electricity in 2006 with substandard materials-resulting to the electrocution of two members of the community, who died, but their families are yet to be compensated by the company.”

When it got to the turn of the petitioners to make their submissions to the Committee Chairman, Abonta Uzoma Nkem (PDP, Abia), asked the petitioners to leave with the promise that the committee would get back to them on the next line of action. He did not say, however, if there were fresh developments on the matter.

Source: The Guardian

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