Fishermen appeal to Buhari to pay Bonga oil spill compensation

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Yenagoa- Artisanal fishermen in the Niger Delta have urged -elect Muhammadu Buhari pay the recommended compensation the victims Bong spill when he assumes office.

Rev. Samuel Ayadi, Coordinator, Artisan Fishermen Nigeria (ARFAN) Niger Delta chapter, made the call in an with News Agency Nigeria (NAN) in Yenagoa on Sunday.

The spill which occurred in Bonga offshore field belonging Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCO), 40,000 barrels crude into the Atlantic.

The pollution which occurred on Dec. 20, 2011 and covered185 kilometre along the Nigerian coast, compelled fishermen in the area desert the sea.

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The of and National Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) had in December 2014, recommended payment of $3.96 billion compensation to the victims.

Ajayi said that the failure by the company to pay the recommended compensation had had crippling effect on the fishermen in the and urged Buhari to come to their rescue.

“We have not been able to get of the problems of Bonga spill; more than 50,000 of our members were affected because we operate in the Atlantic Ocean.

“Our members lost their fishing nets and fishing gears.

“When the spill occurred the regulator directed us to suspend operations to avoid catching contaminated fishes.

“We complied and withdrew from fishing activities till cleaning-up was completed.

“Many of our members have been thrown of business following that incident, which wiped generations of fish from the waters.

“That is why Bonga fish which the facility is named after, is almost in extinction now,’’ he said.

According to him, the fishing sub-sector is often neglected in ’s policies on agriculture which the incoming administration should revitalise.(NAN)