allAfrica.com: $1.5b Payment: Senate Considers Sanctions Against Shell: “THE Nigerian Senate is considering imposing sanctions against Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) for what it described as the company's effrontery and its refusal to pay a $1.5bn (about N201 billion) pollution penalty imposed by the upper legislative arm.” (ShellNews.net) Posted 8 Dec 04
THE Nigerian Senate is considering imposing sanctions against Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) for what it described as the company's effrontery and its refusal to pay a $1.5bn (about N201 billion) pollution penalty imposed by the upper legislative arm.
Senator John Brambaifa, the chairman of the Senate committee on the Niger Delta, made the disclosure in Abuja recently, noting that the firm was challenging the sovereignty of the country.
He pointed out that the Senate committee would recommend sanctions against Shell's Nigerian subsidiary in the next few weeks, adding that the committee was not happy with the way the company has treated the National Assembly.
Various allegations of environmental degradation have been levied against the company by oil and gas producing communities in the Niger Delta.
Senator Brambaifa disclosed that following such reported cases, the committee has also commenced investigations into Shell's activities in Nigeria in the last forty years and its impact on the Niger Delta.
It would be recalled that Shell had been told to pay the Ijaw aborigines of Bayelsa state the sum of $1.5 billion by 23 November for alleged environmental damage caused by oil spillage.
However, the company contests these claims and has said it does not feel inclined to pay any money for the alleged oil spillage.
A letter from Shell written to the Senate rejected the payment of compensation, noting that it was flawed.
It was approved following a petition by residents of the oil-rich Bayesla state.
The Shell unit, Shell Petroleum Development Corporation, is a joint venture with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Agip, and Elf.
Shell has said in the past that it had "strongly contested" the pollution claims and that it was important to note an earlier resolution from Nigeria's House of Representatives did not endorse the penalty.
A statement released by Shell earlier disclosed that the matters raised in the Petition of the so-called Ijaw Aborigines were for compensation of damages allegedly caused by oil spillage, adding that these are matters that should be seen as outside the jurisdiction of the National Assembly.
"They are matters that are within the competence and jurisdiction of the Courts, in which judicial powers have been vested.
As it were, all the activities embarked upon by both the House of Representatives and the Senate as aforesaid, and the Resolutions passed in that regard, have proceeded contrary to the due process of law, as enunciated in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999. They are accordingly null and void, and of no legal effect whatsoever," the statement said.