“The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Is One Of The Biggest Polluters,” Says Nnimmo Bassey

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has been called one of the biggest polluters in Nigeria. The charged was made by Nnimmo Bassey during an interview with SaharaTV’s Omoyele Sowore.  Mr. Bassey, an environmental activist and Executive Director of Environmental Rights Action/ Friends of The Earth (FoEN), was on SaharaTV to discuss the verdict from the Farmers versus Shell case in the Netherlands.

“We must remember when we talk about Shell, ExxonMobil & Chevron, we also have to talk about the NNPC under the Ministry of Petroleum Resources,” Mr. Bassey said. “The impact of their pollution can be seen in River State when some people cannot open their windows due to what is known as “carbon black”, which is in the air due to the petrochemical operations of the refineries.”

Earlier in the week, a ruling handed down by a Dutch court found the oil multi-national guilty on only one of five counts in a case brought against the company by  Nigerian fish farmers & Friends of the Earth International. The news was received with mixed reviews. Some people believe that this was a major let down in terms of holding the oil company accountable.

Others, including Nnimmo Bassey, believe that it was a positive development due to the fact that a court has never come down on the side of the Nigerian farmers and opened up the option for an appeal against the decisions on the other four allegations against Shell. At this time, the settlement on one favorable outcome is unknown.

Sadly  Nigerian courts have found Shell Oil, to be responsible for numerous oil spills and other environmentally destructive practices. But Shell, along with Chevron & Exxon-Mobil, has laughed this off and have not cleaned up the environments in which they operated. Mr. Bassey explained, “the problem with the Nigerian judiciary is that there is no program or process for implementation, so judgments are made within the courts, but they can be ignored without consequence.”

Another problem he pointed to was that these companies are masters at gaming the system. They have the time, money, and employees to engage in a seemingly endless appeal campaign against any court rulings.

Nnimmo Bassey went on to call the situation within Nigeria as an environmental emergency. Annual oil spill volume is measured in the million of tons, the equivalent of 1 Exxon Valdez spill, statistics showing one new oil spill per day.

The UN Environmental Program’s assessment of Ogoni land released in 2011 showed that the water table in the area has been contaminated that benzene levels were present at nine hundred times the recommended level, and that the ground is polluted up to five meters down. The report found it would take 25 years for a cleanup. Currently, according to Nnimmo Bassey, there so no in-depth cleanup or environmental restoration project in place.

He pointed out that although the Nigerian government has an oil detection & response department, it is severely lacking in many respects.

“The Nigerian Oil Detection & Oil Dept. is located within the Ministry Environment. They are however poorly equipped and funded. So much so that they must rely on the facilities of the companies, whom they are suppose to monitoring, to carry out their operations. “

Many people in Niger Delta wondered if after many years, when one of their “sons” was finally catapulted to Aso Rock, things would start to get better in the region.

Mr. Bassey said that he has noticed that there has been a reduction in the demands for rights, so as he put it, “not to rock the boat.” As far as any meaningful difference, Nnimmo Bassey concluded with this, “I would need a microscope to see if there is a positive difference.”

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Haba Sowore? E don rich like

Haba Sowore? E don rich like that?

"...The Nigerian Oil Detection & Oil Dept. is located within the Ministry Environment. They are however poorly equipped and funded. So much so that they must rely on the facilities of the companies, whom they are suppose to monitoring, to carry out their operations. “

Many people in Niger Delta wondered if after many years, when one of their “sons” was finally catapulted to Aso Rock, things would start to get better in the region..."

Sowore, show me one article you write about this when OBJ was president. Were you too young when IBB & abacha were ruling from Lagos? Is it Jonathan who destroyed or set up NNPC? Bad belle. Jona doesnt give a damn. If you dont like Jona, get angry and reject our sweet oil - The oil of the people of the United SS&SE peoples. Very soon, our Governors will gather, the same way una gather for Lagos. Nonsense!! Long live the oily SS&SE

Sowore --- a member of CPC & ACN

This kind of useless & 'factless' report is what SReporters will publish wit length deserving of a PhD Thesis. It is no longer news that Mammon Sowore is now a non card carrying member of the CPC & ACN bent on wrestling power from Great Jona come 2015...SReporters easily publishes articles insulting Great Jona bt refuses to publish a mere comment supportive of MEND & d Niger Delta as well as the earnest desire of the people of the SS&SE to absolutely control their resources. This junk journalism laced with latent partisan tactic but wit a seemingly unbiased posture has been d modus operandi of SReporters. Comments critical of oil comp. evil in oil exploratn in my N.Delta are edited. Why? How posible is it than NNPC is responsible for more polution than Shell, Chevron & Agip? When Shell pipes spilled at the Gulf of Mexico, was is the local American institutn or Obama who was held respnsible? Sowore, Na Train wey no get brake go jam you.Amen.
Long live the United Rep of the SS&SE

False allegation

This is completely untrue,the carbon black plant located at warri have not operated for over 14years so were is the so called carbon black from petrochemicals coming.98% of all oil spill related pollution is as a result of vandal activities and this have been proven severally.infact the criminal gangs in the Niger delta are the world biggest environmental polluters.they polluting and destroying the Niger delta at such a dangerous,heartless and criminal manner that the future generation may no longer have a place to farm.my heart bleeds for the generation yet unborn.this present generation are a bunch of disaster ,all they think of is money,money and this action will soon hunt them so bad.

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