The Minister of Environment, Laurentia Laraba Mallam has given a marching order to the Shell Petroleum Development Corporation (SPDC) to ensure that the matter involving the protracted crisis over the Bonga Oil Spillage in the Niger Delta Region is resolved amicably and expeditiously.
Laurentia Mallam gave the directive lately in her office in Abuja when officials of the corporation led by its country Chairman, Mutiu Sunmonu had a follow-up meeting with the Minister.
While expressing worry over the lingering crisis on the matter, the Minister said the series of petitions submitted to her office over the issue call for concern; adding that it is in the interest of all parties to get the matter settled without delay. He expressed appreciation for the patience and endurance by the affected communities, saying the Federal Government will not allow the patience of the people to be overstretched.
She further appealed to shoreline communities, whose fishing activities were affected by the spillage to continue to exercise patience with the promise that Government is not unaware of the impact of the spillage on their livelihood and everything humanly possible will be done to mitigate their sufferings.
Earlier in his address to the Minister, the Country Chairman of Shell Petroleum Development Corporation, Mutiu Sunmonu who was accompanied by the Managing Director/CEO of Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCO) among others informed the Minister that the corporation has carried out wide consultations with stakeholders and that it is coming out with a mechanism to put the matter to rest.
Mutiu Sunmonu revealed that a committee of stakeholders made up of Shell Petroleum Development Corporation (SPDC), the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), the National Assembly (NASS), Non- Governmental Organizations (NGOs), the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) among others has been set up to bring up recommendations aimed at resolving the matter amicably.
The Shell Boss appealed to the Minister whom he referred to as the neutral umpire to assist in the settlement of the dispute. He also acknowledged the patience of the host communities, just as he sued for continuous understanding.