Shell will pay 15 million euros ($15.9 million) to Nigerian communities impacted by several oil pipeline spills in the Niger Delta, the oil firm announced on Friday in a joint statement with Friends of the Earth’s Dutch division.
The settlement is the result of a Dutch court lawsuit initiated by Friends of the Earth, in which Shell’s Nigerian subsidiary was judged accountable for the oil leaks and compelled to compensate farmers’ damages last year.
President Muhammadu Buhari began an aggressive cleanup effort in Ogoniland in 2016.
The work is proceeding, but residents complain there has been little progress.
Continued oil leaks caused by international corporations have also thrown doubt on the effectiveness of the clean-up effort.
The region generates the majority of Nigeria’s government revenue, yet the communities claim that successive governments have ignored them.
The UK Supreme Court ruled in February last year that oil-polluted Nigerian villages can sue Shell in English courts.
The verdict, which overturns a Court of Appeal ruling, was seen as a triumph for the communities after a five-year battle.
More than 40,000 residents in the Niger Delta believe decades of pollution have seriously harmed their livelihoods, health, and local ecology.
The oil corporation said it was just a holding company for a company that should be assessed by Nigerian law.
Shell called the legal decision unsatisfactory.