The Artisan Fishermen Association of Nigeria (ARFAN) has asked ExxonMobil to as a matter of urgency clean up the Niger Delta and rid it of ”environmental hazards caused by oil spill occurring from the company’s activities.”
Inyang Ekong, the Niger Delta Coordinator of the Association, made the allegation in Eket, Akwa Ibom.
Ekong also called on ExxonMobil to urgently do thorough clean up of oil spill that allegedly occurred on July 2 at the shores of Ibeno, where its facilities are located.
“Whenever there is oil spill in the state, there will be no catch. The impact damages the fishing nets.
“Once the oil touches the nets, the fish get scared and run to other neighbouring countries.”
He further called on the multinational oil company “to pay compensation to fishermen and affected communities, as it is done in foreign countries and not to pay palliatives.
“It is their duty to compensate fishermen so that we have something to depend on, before the water can be restored again and the fish come back.
“This is rainy season that we are supposed to catch fish but we are at home due to oil spill from ExxonMobil facilities.”
But on his part, Ogechukwu Udeagha, Manager, Media and Communications of the company said there were no evidence of any spill from ExxonMobil facilities as alleged by Ekong.
“There is no evidence to support the claim and none of its activities has been reported to having the potential to spill as was being alleged.”
He restated the company’s continued commitment to maintaining high safety, health and environmental standards in its operations, as well as to the well being of the host communities.