Nigeria: Still no solution in sight for victims of the oil spills & poisoning continues; investigation reveals

Author: Ruth Olurounbi and Kelechukwu Iruoma, The Cable (Nigeria) , Published on: 24 March 2020

‘Silent killer: How oil spill pollution is poisoning Nigerians’ 23 March 2020

Eric Dooh, 60, had just returned from Goi, a community in Ogoniland, a region in Nigeria’s Niger Delta. He had visited his family property in the community he left a few years back due to air pollution. Near the property is a large river where men fish, but it has been contaminated as a result of oil spills, causing unending pollution that pervades the air.

…Nigeria has the largest oil-producing mines in Africa with the bulk of its crude laying beneath farmlands and rivers in Ogoniland with oil companies like Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) extracting about 100 million barrels of crude every year. Crude oil is very important to Nigeria’s economy. The Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed that crude oil export accounted for N3.74 trillion or 70.84% of total exports in the third quarter of 2019, making it the most exported product in Nigeria while its contribution to the gross domestic products (GDP) was 9.77%. Despite this, the oil-producing communities suffer from numerous oil spills.

…Although Shell has not pumped oil from its oil wells in Ogoni since 1993 when Ogoni activists led protests against the oil company for destroying the environment, halting its operations, its pipelines still carry crude oil worth 150, 000 barrels daily through the region to its export terminal at Bonny Island on the coast. The pipelines were reported to be ageing and poorly maintained, prompting multiple splits as a result of internal pressure and spilling thousands of barrels of crude oil. Amnesty International, a human rights organization, in its 2015 report said about 352, 000 barrels of crude were spilled between 2007 to 2014. But the major oil spill occurred in 2009 when fire from the Bomu manifold burned for 36 hours and spread to neighbouring Goi and Mogho communities, causing damages that destroyed the people’s livelihoods.

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Related companies: Shell