For immediate release
Tuesday, November 13th, 2012
Avaaz: 600,000 call on Nigeria to End Oil Impunity ahead of Senate Meeting
Today, Nigerian Senators will discuss a new bill to force Big Oil companies to be held accountable for the huge environmental damage that they have caused. Over 600,000 citizens around the world have joined the campaign launched by Avaaz, urging Nigeria to push ahead with reforming its oil sector and to fine Shell $5 billion for an oil spill at its offshore Bonga field.
Just two weeks ago, Avaaz launched a campaign urging Nigeria’s National Assembly to endorse the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) Amendment Bill that holds polluters accountable with clear penalties, and ensures efficient cleanup as well as compensation to affected people. The petition - which can be seen online here: http://www.avaaz.org/en/make_shell_pay_b/ - will be delivered today to the Senate in Abuja.
Alex Wilks, campaign director at Avaaz, said: “Oil companies have wreaked environmental devastation in the Delta but often got away scot-free. This is Nigeria’s moment to put people before profits and ensure giant oil polluters finally pay their bills. The world is looking to the Nigerian Senate to call time on oil impunity.”
Today’s hearing at the Senate’s Environment Committee comes after the UN released a report last year saying Shell was not doing enough to clean up spills and maintain infrastructure in the Delta.
The Bonga oil spill caused in December 2011 by a failure in Shell’s oil infrastructure leaked 40,000 barrels into the Atlantic Ocean, covering approximately 950 square kilometers of water. According to NOSDRA, it has affected a great number of sensitive environmental resources as well as the livelihood of people in the river areas as they mostly rely on fishing.
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Avaaz.org is a 16-million-person global campaign network that works to ensure that the views and values of the world's people shape global decision-making. "Avaaz" means "voice" or "song" in many languages. Avaaz members live in every nation of the world - our movement is spread across 194 countries on 5 continents and operates in 16 languages.