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Oil spills: Akwa Ibom communities ask ExxonMobil to pay compensation

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Bassey Anthony, Uyo

Akwa Ibom Oil Producing Community Development Network (AKIPCON) has given ExxonMobil 21 days to pay compensation to communities affected by oil spills.

The non-governmental organisation (NGO) insisted that the oil giant had spilled estimated 30,000 barrels of crude oil due to equipment failure in the state.

AKIPCON said the spills led to the deaths of many, disruption of means of livelihood and hospitalisation of many others who had no money to settle their bills.

The group, alongside over 1,000 affiliated bodies, gave the oil giant 21 days to pay compensation to the affected communities or face some sanctions.

A statement on Tuesday in Uyo, the state capital, by AKIPCON President General, Dr. Ufot Phenson, said the oil company was not taking necessary measures to prevent recurrence of incessant oil spills and oily waste discharges.

The statement reads: “AKIPCON has strongly kicked against ExxonMobil, which keeps on discharging treated effluent wastes, oil-spec products, oily waste, oily organic sludge, storm water, surface drainage, polluted water from tank farms (QIT) into Douglas Creek on daily basis.

“These are eventually washed and deposited into Qua Ibo River, Atlantic Ocean and other adjoining rivers, streams, swamps, among others, with attendant pollution of the environment and see foods, killing fishes and fingerlings as well as disruption of means of livelihood of the people being fishing and farming…”

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