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NIGERIAN TRIBUNE: Communities drag Shell to Yar’Adua over rent

Kayode Akinmade, Lagos – 27.08.2007

Two oil-producing communities in Delta State have dragged Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) before President Umaru Yar’Adua over the company’s refusal to pay them rents over a period of 41 years on lands leased to the company.

The communities, Ekakpamre and Uvwi-amvge, in Ughelli South and North local government areas of the state, said in their petition to President Yar’Adua that they decided to take their plight to the president rather than allowing their youths to disrupt economic activities in the area.

According to the petition signed by leaders of the two communities, “we were constrained by federal legislative stipulation to lease 44 hectares of our land to Shell Petroleum Development Company Limited (SPDC) for the building of the Ughelli West Oil Field which started production in commercial quantity in 1964. By December 2001, there were 14 oil wells with a total cumulative production of above 54,793 barrels of crude oil i.e. an average yearly production of 1,369,846.27 barrels. The level of our contribution to the national kitty, over the last four and a half decades, can therefore be easily imagined.”

While regretting that efforts aimed at getting the company fulfil its obligation to the communities had been ‘deliberately frustrated by Shell’, they said “in exchange for our lands, from which SPDC produces more than 1,369,249 barrels a day, and from which she had earned trillions of U.S dollars, the oil giant has offered us abysmal poverty, pains, economic deprivations and premature deaths.”

http://www.tribune.com.ng/27082007/news/news14.html

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