Govt Drags Chevron to UN over Oil SpillNigeria
The Delta State government has accused the Nigerian affiliate of the United States oil giant, Chevron Nigerian Limited, of insincerity in the recent oil spill in Warri, Delta State.
The state government also said it has invited the United Nations to carry out the detailed post impact assessment of the oil spill to know the extent of damage to the environment in the state.
The state Commissioner for Environment, Dr. Bibobra Bello Orubebe, who said this at a press briefing at the weekend in Asaba , accused Chevron of being economical with the truth about the oil spill as "preliminary investigation has revealed that the quantity of petroleum products spills is 18, 000 liters against the eight liters as claimed by Chevron"
He also said that " as a ministry, if we carry out an independent environmental impact assessment of the damage done, it will not be acceptable, it will now be we versus them, but if the United Nations carry out the investigation, be rest assured that the document will have the legitimacy, it will be the authority, it will be the bases upon which the people and government of Delta State will seek remedy and justice at all levels known to law and equity." He further said: "It is now over 21 days since the oil spill occurred from a boat owned by Chevron Nigerian Limited and we are regrettably not close to resolving critical issues surrounding the unfortunate incident that has devastated the environment."
Orubebe also said: "It is lamentable the lack of cooperation by Chevron in stepping forward to own up to the catastrophe caused by this spill, similar to BP example of the Gulf of Mexico."
He continues: "Whilst the spill here is not on the same scale of the spill in the Gulf of Mexico , the leadership and sense of responsibility demonstrated by BP is clearly lacking here.
The question to ask is whether Chevron will retain this difficult posture had a similar spill happened in the US."
He said state government have lost billions of naira to the oil spill as the farm lands of the community and the waters have been devastated as dead fishes are seeing floating on the surface of the water and the farm lands have been covered by oil substance, making it impossible for the villagers to carry on with their farming activities.
He also said: " as we speak , Chevron Nigeria Limited has refused , failed and neglected the need to commence the clean-up process of the spill , as investigations revealed that the impacted areas was not boomed nor was any form of clean-up embarked upon by it, petroleum products still flow destroying several marine life"
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