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Nigeria parliament wants Shell to pay nearly $4 bln for 2011 oil spill

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Nigeria parliament wants Shell to pay nearly $4 bln for 2011 oil spill

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It was a massive oil spill in 2011 off the Nigerian coast.

Now after assessing environmental damage from the disaster at Shell’s offshore Bonga field, the country’s National Assembly wants to fine the energy giant $3.96 billion – that is just over 3 billion euros.

The non-binding decision by a parliamentary committee has been hailed as historic by those affected by the spill.

“I think today we made history because after three years waiting for a solution, after countless meetings in the National Assembly with the eight agencies involved, going to the affected areas, looking at the devastation, filming it, seeing the suffering, today, judgement was given,” said community representative Tee Mac Omatseye.

Investigators believe that 40,000 barrels were spilled, saying the disaster hurt local people who rely on fishing for their livelihoods as the slick covered some 950 square km.

Shell has said there is no legal basis for the proposed fine and that it has taken responsibility and cleaned the area.