Senate summons NLNG for alleged ‘land grabbing’ and non-payment of compensation

The Senate has asked the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) appear before its Ethics, Privileges and Public Petition Committee for alleged “land grabbing”. The NLNG was given a seven-day ultimatum to make an appearance. The Senate directive followed the submission of a committee report on a petition by Enyinna Onuegbu on behalf of 73 communities from Obiafu, Soku to Bonny, in Rivers State against the NLNG. The petitioners accused NLNG of refusing to pay compensation for the acquisition of their lands and the loss of use of the lands affected to the Pipeline Right of Way (ROW) through the communities. the claims In the petition, Mr. Onuegbo stated that after its incorporation, NLNG acquired properties in Rivers State in 1996 covering more than 210 km to be used as ROW for its pipelines, which terminated at the terminal of NLNG export in Finima Bonny local government. Rivers State Area, which negatively impacted more than 73 communities and more than 200 families. The company, he said, made selective misery payments as cash compensation for destroyed construction and structures, economic crops, farmland, shrines and tombs, much to the chagrin of the owners of the stretch of land acquired as pipeline RoW without entering into any agreement. Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) or assume any commitment on future obligations in the nature of Corporate Social Responsibility with the impacted communities. He also said that the host communities complained to the Rivers State government about the problem, but that all efforts to resolve it amicably were roundly thwarted by the NLNG administration. Other oil companies such as Shell Petroleum Development Company, Totalfina Elf Petroleum Nigeria Ltd, Agip Oil Corporation paid compensation for loss of land use in their acquisitions, it said. Based on the professional valuation and appraisal carried out up to 2020 for the loss of use of the acquired land, the sum of N18.4 billion was the current claim owed to the host communities as adequate compensation by NLNG based on current market value. the answer In its presentation, NLNG represented by Oyono Fatayi-Williams, General Manager of External Relations, stated that due process was followed during the acquisition of the land and that the company still maintains a good relationship with the host communities. The petitioners, he said, are not known to them and there was no requirement by law to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Host Communities for the pipelines in the right of way. “NLNG had paid everything necessary to pay the communities involved; and that the Rivers State government, which was aware of the problem, had not approached NLNG to say that it owed any community,” he said. Recommendations/Call In his presentation, the Chairman of the Committee, Ayo Akinyelure, noted that NLNG did not pay any compensation to the communities after the acquisition of their land. “NLNG did not prove or show evidence to the committee that it paid compensation to the 73 communities for the loss of use of their land due to the right-of-way pipelines and that there was no MoU signed between the communities and NLNG on future obligations in name of Corporate Social Responsibility. with the affected communities. “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 land use to their host communities.” While the panel recommended that NLNG pay 18.4 billion naira as adequate compensation to the 73 communities and sign a memorandum of understanding with them, Senate President Ahmad Lawan suggested that company officials appear again with appropriate explanations. The Senate subsequently insisted that if the NLNG authorities did not appear before the committee within seven days, they would be required to pay the panel-recommended sum of N18.4 billion as compensation to the 73 communities. Read More Related News Here Let here it in the comment below if you do have an opinion on this; Senate summons NLNG for alleged ‘land grabbing’ and non-payment of compensation