Major international oil corporation Royal Dutch Shell has agreed to a payout of only $84 million to residents of Nigeria’s Bodo community in the Niger Delta for two massive oil spills.
The settlement for what victims described as oil slicks that affected thousands of hectares of mangrove in south Nigeria, was announced Tuesday by the Anglo-Dutch oil company’s subsidiary in the country, SPDC.
Legal attorney Martyn Day, who represents the claimants, said it was “deeply disappointing that Shell took six years to take this case seriously and to recognize the true extent of the damage these spills caused to the environment and to those who rely on it for their livelihood.”
This is while the attorneys for 15,600 Nigerian fishermen say their clients will receive $3,300 each for major losses incurred by the oil spills.
According to the law firm representing the affected fishermen, the remaining $30 million will be given to the community, which it says was “devastated by the two massive oil spills in 2008 and 2009.”
“It is the first time that compensation has been paid following an oil spill in Nigeria to the thousands of individuals who have suffered loss,” added the firm in a Tuesday press release confirming the settlement.
It further noted that the deal, which ends a three-year legal battle, is the first of its kind in Nigeria.
Reporting on the impacts of the oil spills in Bodo, a town in the Ogoniland region, Amnesty International stated that the spills had caused headaches and eyesight problems.
A separate study conducted by the United Nations further said that local drinking water sources were also contaminated by the oil spills.