Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and the Bodo Community in Gokana Local Government Area of Rivers State are inching close to a settlement in a compensation case which followed two major oil spills in 2008. About N7.5b has been offered already.
About 15,000 persons from the Bodo community sued SPDC over the development, which occurred in 2008 for which the company had accepted responsibility, although it insisted that the volume spilt and the number of those who lost their livelihood as a result are exaggerated.
Both parties nonetheless commenced talks on compensation but the talks broke down in 2012, following which the villagers filed a suit against the oil company at a London High Court in March 2012, seeking millions of dollars in compensation.
Sources close to the negotiators indicated that Shell has offered N7.5 Billion as compensation to the affected persons and the community. An official of Shell who would not discuss the figure offered however indicated that “SPDC and the Bodo community have both committed their full support to the clean up process currently in progress with the support of Bert Ronhaar, the former Netherlands Ambassador to Nigeria.