Shell agrees £55m compensation deal for Niger Delta community
Oil-giant Shell have agreed a compensation package of £55m to compensate 15,600 Nigerian fishermen and their community after it was devastated by two massive oil spills in the Niger Delta in 2008 and 2009. Today’s announcement follows a three-year legal battle by the Nigerian’s lawyers, London based law firm Leigh Day, in the High Court in London following the spills which devastated the environment surrounding the community of Bodo, in Gokana Local Government Area, Rivers State, Nigeria. Each member of the community impacted by the oil spill will each receive approximately 600,000 Nigerian Naira (£2,200)...The total cost of the compensation package agreed with Shell is £55m being split £35m for the individuals and £20m for the community and is thought to be one of the largest payouts to an entire community following environmental damage....In the aftermath of the spills Shell originally offered £4,000 (four thousand pounds GBP) compensation to the entire Bodo community before the villagers sought legal representation from lawyers in London, where Shell have their headquarters...The lawyer representing the claimants, Martyn Day from Leigh Day, said: ...“Whilst we are delighted for our clients, and pleased that Shell has done the decent thing I have to say that it is deeply disappointing that Shell took six years to take this case seriously and to recognise the true extent of the damage these spills caused to the environment and to the those who rely on it for their livelihood...."...Chief Sylvester Kogbara, Chairman of the Bodo Council of Chiefs and Elders, said: “For now, the Bodo community is very happy that this case has been finally laid to rest. The hope is that this will forge a good relationship with Shell for the future, not only with the Bodo people but with all the Niger Delta communities that have been impacted in the same way as us.