Gas flare: Nigeria’s parliament slams Chevron over failure to pay compensation
By Joseph BAMIDELE
ABUJA– THE Senate, Nigeria’s highest law making body has described the non compliance of American oil giant Chevron to extinguish the raging flame from the fire on its facility as totally unacceptable to the people and government of Nigeria.
In a letter to the Managing Director, Chevron Nigeria Ltd, Chairman, Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology, Senator Bukola Saraki noted that the company’s failure to pay adequate compensation to the affected communities as earlier discussed and agreed could be seen as total disrespect to the Nigerian government and the Senate.
The Letter which was titled, ‘’Senate Query on Impact of Chevron Facility Gas Explosion’’ and made available to our correspondent earlier today reads in part, “Please, recall our last meeting and the commitment you made to the Joint Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology and Upstream Petroleum to provide us a roadmap report within 9 days detailing Chevron’s plan to extinguish the raging flame from the fire on your facility and Chevron’s plan to pay adequate compensation to the affected communities.
“The continuing flaring at the facility is totally unacceptable to the committee. The subsequent devastation arising from this and the resulting spills and water contamination is a source of great concern to us. This needs to be contained.
“The apparent foot dragging by Chevron on this very critical environmental and health issue will suggest that Chevron does not have the interest of its host community at heart or at best neglected its commitment to the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria following our last meeting.’’
An indication that the letter was written before now read, “the committee therefore, requests Chevron without further ado to send before the close of business on the 22nd of march 2012 a comprehensive report on what it’s doing so far to contain the fire at the facility, avoid the escalation of contamination and compensate adequately the communities that continue to suffer adversely due to the consequent explosion and oil spill.
“We look forward to receiving this report soon to get a quick closure on this matter in an environmentally responsible manner.’’