Nigeria gives Shell $1.5 billion eco-bill

Aug. 26, 2004 at 10:31 AM

ABUJA, Nigeria, Aug. 26 (UPI) -- The Shell oil company has been handed a $1.5 billion bill for ecological compensation in the Niger delta by the government of Nigeria.

The Telegraph reported Thursday the Nigerian demand was based on a petition by the Ijaw tribe that was originally presented to the lower House of Representatives and reviewed by an independent legal advisory panel.

The tribe wants a $1 billion up-front payment and a further $500 million in installments over the next five years from Shell, the largest investor in the country.

Analysts said they believe the matter would be tied up in the courts but that Shell and Nigeria's state oil company, which operate a joint venture, would ultimately be forced to increase environmental spending in the country.

A Shell spokesman said the company had not seen the resolution and would not comment.

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