Inside Niger Delta News Oil & Gas

Oil producing communities storm NASS over alleged discriminatory payment of land owners by Shell

Oil producing communities from the Niger Delta on Tuesday protested alleged non-payment of land owners by Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC).

The protesters besieged the gate of the National Assembly Complex in Abuja.

They decried alleged payment of discriminatory land re-acquisition and rentals for land by the oil company.

The oil producing communities, who came under the aegis of Landlords of Shell Oil Producing Communities of Niger Delta, accused the company of divide and rule.

Spokesperson of the group and former member of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Isaac Onniye, accused the company paying N200,000 per hectare to some communities as against N600,000 to others.

He insisted on the payment of the differentials to the affected land owners for the 2014 to 2018 payment cycle.

Onniye noted that the communities are drawn from Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, Abia, Imo and Rivers States.

In a petition addressed to the Senate President Bukola Saraki, the group noted that both parties had earlier appeared before the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions.

It therefore urged the Senate to invoke Section 89(1)(d) of the 1999 Constitution by issuing a warrant for the arrest of the Managing Director of SPDC “to compel his attendance to enable him come forward and explain why it has in disobedience to the Senate Commitiee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions refused to obey the Directive that it pays off all the claims raised in the afore-captioned Petition which the SPDC Nigeria Ltd had been mandated by the said Senate Committee since December, 2017; to pay”.

Signed by U.J. Bekele, counsel to the communities, the petition expressed regret that the company refused to appear before the committee on January 23, 2018.

Some of the placards carried by the protesters include: “Shell stop divide and rule”, “Tenants (SPDC) don’t have right to impose payment on landlords,” “Shell pay landlords N600,000 per hectare difference for our 2014 – 2018 rentals shortfall” among others.

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