Rights Group Seeks $28 Million Payment For Victims Of Agip Pipeline Explosion

Agip

An environmental rights group, Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria, ERA/FoEN, has demanded that Nigerian Agip Oil Company pays $28 million compensation to the families of those who lost their lives in the July pipeline explosion which killed 14 people at the company’s oil field in Bayelsa state.

The explosion, which occurred at Azuzuama community in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of the state, saw two staff from the state environment ministry and the National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency, NOSDRA, killed alongside 12 others while investigating the cause of an earlier oil spill.

“While a price cannot be placed on the loss of human lives, we urge the payment of the sum of US$2 million each to the families of the bereaved since their bread winners have been taken away from them abruptly,” Godwin Uyi Ojo, ERA/FoEN’s Executive Director, said while presenting a report on the incident titled “Agip’s Azuzuama Tragedy” to journalists in Yenagoa, the state capital.

Ojo condemned what he called Agip’s impunity in dealing with human safety in its operation, urging the federal government as well as Bayelsa State government to ensure that the company does not get away with its blatant carelessness.

“Agip should be brought to book following the cases of negligence, equipment failure and substandard pipeline clamping procedures.




     

     

    “State and federal governments should ensure that Agip complies with international standards in oil pipeline clamping and procedures which must guarantee the safety of workers, regulators and the communities,” he said.

    The Bayelsa State Commissioner for Environment, Inuro Wills, decried the oil firm’s violation of operational regulation and its negligence towards victims of the pipeline explosion, adding that the state government will ensure that the recently launched guidelines on oil spill management was followed by oil companies operating in the state.

    He also disclosed that the government has will provide legal assistance to families of the deceased should they require it.

    A statement by Eni, the parent company of Agip, said the company is investigating the cause of the pipeline explosion.

     

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