Dutch court orders Shell to pay Nigerian farmers over oil spills …Says, Shell liable for Niger Delta oil spills.

Dutch court orders Shell to pay Nigerian farmers over oil spills …Says, Shell liable for Niger Delta oil spills.

This is justice for Nigerian farmers in far-away Netherlands and against a multinational corporation that fetches Netherlands billions of dollars annually. A multinational corporation that is also headquartered in their country, the Netherlands.
   I was at the Dutch parliament in 2011 or so on its invitation (representing the Embassy) when this matter was debated among Dutch parliamentarians in The Hague. Every single member across all political parties was in full support of the claim by Nigerian farmers some of whom were also present. The only opposite but defensive voice came from global MD of Shell. I never knew the extent of damage oil spillage did to farmlands of the people of Niger Delta until that day based on the detailed graphic description of the situation by one farmer after another during the parliamentary hearing. It was also an eye opener for me on how Shell could pollute our environment without compunction, so unconscionably, so brazingly, not fearing heavy handed reaction or backlash from the Federal Government led at that time by a Niger Delta indigene.
   I share in the joy of this court ruling, happier that it was a foreign court and not a Nigerian court otherwise it might have gone the way of Halliburton. Or gone the way of endless gas flarring in Nigeria where possible underhand handshakes between top officials of the victim State and oil companies have ensured its continuity in perpetuity. Or could have gone the way of Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) that has not seen the light of the day for nearly two decades now as oil companies parley are believed to with politicians the Nigerian way each time it tried to rear its head in the National Assembly. It bill resulted in exchange of blows there only 28th January 2021 for a bill that has now been so amended to emptiness in value and content by different Assemblies possibly from external influences of interested magnates in oil field. 
   The fight for compensation to farmers has been led by Mr. Sunny Ofehe, a Netherlands-based Nigerian of Niger Delta origin and a good friend of the Embassy. I congratulate him on this outcome.

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