Senate Gives NLNG Two-month To Pay Communities N18.4bn
The Senate on Tuesday directed the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited to pay N18.4 billion compensation to 73 communities of Obiafu, Soku and Bonny in Rivers state for acquiring their land and loss of use of the affected land to pipeline Rights of Way through the communities.
The Senate further directed that the payment should be made within sixty days.
Presenting the report, the Committee chairman, Senator Patrick Akinyelure said following its incorporation, the NLNG acquired landed properties in Rivers state spanning over 210 kilometres for use as its pipeline Right of Way which ended at the export terminal of the NLNG in Finima, Bonny Local Government of the state.
According to him, “there were over 73 communities and over 200 families whose hitherto agrarian source of livelihood were negatively impacted upon by the said acquisition.
“That after the recent intervention of the Senate and after being given one month instead of 7 days allowed by the Senate to provide evidence of payment to the Committee, the NLNG could only show evidence of payment to some individuals, families and communities.”
Akinyelure also added, “The total amount it paid for part of the 210 kilometres of land acquired for pipelines Rights of Way was N74,642,773.00 which is not significant when compared to the sum of N18.4 billion approximately demanded by the 73 communities and over 200 families, which the NLNG has never objected to up till now.
“That the payment made covered only 39 communities and 73 individuals and families; and that there was no Memorandum Of Understanding signed between the communities and NLNG on future obligations in the name of Corporate Social Responsibility with the impacted communities.
“There was evidence that other oil companies such as Shell Petroleum Development Company, Totalfina, Elf Petroleum, and Agip Oil Company paid compensation for the loss of land use to their host communities.
“NLNG confessed that the payments were made long ago and could not reasonably trace most of the payments documents but promised to look for further evidence to show that it paid stakeholders concerned if given another month to enable it.
“The committee considered their request unnecessary and unreasonably, having granted NLNG one month earlier instead of 7 days allowed by the Senate at plenary to conclude its report.”