Oil giant, Shell has agreed to pay $16 million to four Nigerian farmers and their communities to compensate for damage allegedly caused by pollution coming from leaks in its oil pipelines.
The sum was agreed in negotiations between the oil company and campaign group, Friends of the Earth.
According to a joint statement, the sum is being given on the basis of “no admission of liability”.
Media reports say the oil spills in this case occurred between 2004 and 2007, and the pay out follows a decision last year by a Dutch court that the Nigerian branch of Shell was responsible for the damage.
Shell had argued that the leaks were a result of sabotage.
Shell’s headquarters were in the Netherlands until early this year. Campaigners hailed the 2021 court decision as the first time a multinational had been deemed legally responsible for what a subsidiary did.
The money will be going to communities in Oruma, Goi and Ikot Ada Udo of Bayelsa and Akwa Ibom States.
The four farmers who began the case – Barizaa Dooh, Elder Friday Alfred Akpan, Chief Fidelis A Oguru and Alali Efanga – said the leaks from underground oil pipelines had cost them their livelihoods by contaminating land and waterways.
Writing by Hadiza Abdulrahman; Editing by Tony Okerafor