President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday ordered the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Dieazani Alison-Madueke and management of Chevron Nigerian Limited to kick-start a process for the payment of compensation to the affected indigenes of the Koluama 1 and 2 communities of the Southern Ijaw Local Government area of Bayelsa State over the damage caused the January 16th explosion from a gas rig in the area.
The president, while speaking yesterday during a meeting with the people of the affected communities, agreed that Chevron should pay compensation to the affected communities but that would be determined by the results of tests being carried out on the extent of the environmental disaster occasioned by the explosion.
However, President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday dispelled reports in the media that he had announced the disbandment of the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment (SURE) programme, saying it was a deliberate misrepresentation of what he said concerning the programme.
In his speech, Bayelsa State governor, Seriake Dickson frowned at the attitude of Chevron and also condemned pipeline vandalisation and illegal refineries saying what they are doing was more injurious than what oil companies are doing.
Dickson promised to set up a task force to identify culprits and also warn the people on the dangers of pipeline vandalisation and illegal refining of crude oil while assuring the people of government’s continued support.