Senate summons NLNG for nonpayment of compensation to 73 communities
By Benjamin Arida://
Following refusal to pay compensation for lands acquired from 73 host communities in Rivers State, the Senate has given the management of the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited, NLNG, a one-week ultimatum to appear before its Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions or face the consequences for failing to do so.
Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan gave the ultimatum when the chamber considered a report by the committee on the refusal by NLNG to pay the compensation.
The report was against the backdrop of a petition received from one Chief Enyinna Onuegbu on behalf of the communities located in Obiafu, Soku to Bonny, respectively.
The consideration of the report was, however, stepped down midway by the chamber, pending the outcome of the summons on NLNG.
The Senate President, while issuing the summons said, “Instead of just saying NLNG should go and pay 18 billion and at the end of the day nothing happens, let us give NLNG one more chance, and this should be by the Senate itself, not our committee.
“I am sure NLNG is listening. NLNG should appear within one week before our Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions with their evidence of compensation.
“If they fail, then the Senate will take a decision on NLNG in this respect.”
In his presentation, chairman of the committee, Senator Ayo Akinyelure (PDP Ondo Central), said that, “following the incorporation of the
Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited NLNG, it acquired landed properties in Rivers State in 1996 spanning over 210 kiln for use as its pipelines Right of Way, ROW which ended at the export terminal of the NLNG in Finima Bonny Local Government Area of Rivers State.
“That there were over 73 communities and over 200 families whose hitherto agrarian source of livelihood were negatively impacted upon by the said acquisition;
“That NLNG neither proved nor showed evidence to the Committee that it paid compensation to the 73 Communities for loss of use of their land to pipelines Right of Way (ROW); and that there was no Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the Communities and NLNG on future obligations in the name of Corporate Social Responsibility with the impacted communities;
“That there was evidence that other Oil Companies such as Shell Petroleum Development Company, Totalfina Elf Petroleum Nigeria Ltd, Agip oil Corporation paid compensation for loss of use of land to their Host Communities; and
“That the communities were claiming the sum of N18,448,842,500,00 being compensation for the loss of use of their land as at May, 2020.”