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Vanguard: ASEPA threatens to shut down Shell flow stations

Written by Anayo Okoli    
Wednesday, 20 February 2008 

ABIA State Environmental Protection Agency [ASEPA] has threatened to shut down Shell Petroleum Development Company oil flow stations in Owaza, Ukwa West Local Government Area of the state for alleged environmental degradation and neglect of the host community.

The agency accused Shell of “totally messing up the community”, and providing no social amenities to them. The agency also accused Shell of refusing to attend a meeting it called in Owaza.

The General Manager of the agency, Dr. Cosmos Ndukwe, who spoke to journalists in Umuahia, also alleged that Shell is indebted to his agency to the tune of about N7.5 million, being unpaid fees for about three years.

According to Ndukwe, Shell’s neglect led to the damage of the valve head of the company’s IM 22 SS F   low Station in Owaza, which he said led to oil spillage and gas flaring, which he lamented has brought with it various illnesses to the neglected rural community.

He said that the agency has directed its consultants to move into the area to access and quantify the damage caused to the community by the spillage.

Ndukwe who heavily berated Shell for “turning the community to a terrible eye sore” alleged that Shell had consistently shielded away from it social responsibility and obligations to a community that produces Shell’s best oil today”.

He also alleged that the company is owing the host community over N58 million, being costs the courts awarded to the community against Shell in the last 30 years. Shell, he further alleged has not paid the community compensation due to them. Ndukwe said that the youths of Owaza are currently agitated over the present oil spillage from IM 22 SS, and lamented that instead of Shell to go for dialogue, it called the military to the place.

http://www.vanguardngr.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2975&Itemid=42

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