Oil spill: Akpabio clears the air on ExxonMobil’s compensation money

Posted by News Express | 2 November 2013 | 3,386 times

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The Akwa Ibom Government in South-South Nigeria has dispelled the rumour of collecting money from ExxonMobil as compensation for the recent crude oil spill in the four oil producing local government areas of the state.

News Express reports that National Oil Spill Environmental Agency (NOSRA) had approved about N26 billion as compensation for the spill but ExxonMobil held a meeting with the state government and the stakeholders and decided to pay about N2 billion to the oil spill victims. The balance of the money was said to be used to undertake development projects in the areas, but some people especially youths later protested against the decision.

Governor Godswill Akpabio cleared the air regarding the compensation during a meeting between the state government and stakeholders from the four oil producing communities comprising Eket, Esit-Eket, Ibeno and Onna.

Said Akpabio at the meeting held Thursday at the Akwa Ibom Government House Banquet Hall, Uyo: “The state government has never received any kobo from the company as speculated and no paramount ruler or royal father from the oil producing communities has received any money from the company neither has the company given any money to the state government.

“As a government, we are committed to creating enabling environment for companies to strive in the state. So, the various rumours in newspapers and in the social media are false, and I believe such people creating such rumours are trying to tarnish the image of the state by saying we have collected money from ExxonMobil. And I urge the public to ignore those engaged in a campaign of calumny.”

On the recent protest by youths of the oil producing communities who barricaded the entrance of the company, preventing workers from entering the premises, Akpabio said: “It is not right for the youths to take the laws into their hands by the protest or to try any attempt to kidnap any royal father in order to extort the supposed money claimed to be gotten from the company.

“When I was on a Christian pilgrimage to Israel, I appealed to the youths to unblock the entrance of the company for normal activities to commence around the company. I also urged them to avoid violence as no meaningful progress could be achieved through violence.”

•Photo shows Governor Akpabio.

Source: News Express

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