A pressure group, Conference of Niger Delta Youths Representatives (CNDYR), on Monday called on the Federal Government to compel Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) to clean-up oil spills in five states.
The group’s Chairman, Mr Johnson Harry, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sideline of its 2013 annual conference in Port Harcourt.
Harry claimed that SPDC and Exxon Mobil were responsible for oil spills in five states — Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, Ondo and Rivers states.
Harry said that both companies had yet to commence a clean-up of the areas as well as pay compensation to victims affected by the oil spillage.
“The Shell-Bonga oil spills, which destroyed human and economic activities in the five states is yet to be addressed despite several calls by the group.
“Since Dec. 20, 2011 when the spill occurred, economic activities have been at the lowest ebb because fishermen can no longer find fishes and farmers can no longer farm or harvest their crops.
“FG should compel SPDC to clean up the environment and compensate victims as well as force Exxon Mobil to pay victims compensation for Idoho oil spillage.
“The group will issue copies of our demands to the Presidency, Federal Ministries of Petroleum, Environment and the National Assembly, to ensure that these companies remedy the situation.”
Harry said that CNDYR, in collaboration with the Civil Liberties Organisations, would seek court’s redress, if their demands were not met within two weeks.
Also, the Vice-Chairman of the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) in Akwa Ibom, Mr David Akpakpan, told NAN that oil bearing communities in the Niger Delta had yet to benefit from crude oil sales.
He claimed the region faced shortage of infrastructure, youth unemployment and empowerment, poverty and wide scale corruption.
“The corruption in the region is massive because funds meant for meaningful projects that will improve the living standard of people of the region are diverted by greedy politicians.
“The Federal Government should set up a team that will be saddled with the responsibility of monitoring utilisation of public funds, to fast track the regions development,” he said.
Akpakpan called on the National Assembly to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill into law, stressing that the passage of the bill would speed up development of the Niger Delta.
A copy of the communiqué made available to NAN by the group stated its endorsement of the proposed National Conference and speedy passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill.
The group also endoresed 50 per cent derivation for states in the Niger Delta, construction of Ibaka sea port and recognition of the Oro community in Akwa Ibom as an oil bearing community, among others. (NAN)