Nigeria : NGOs, Shell At Loggerheads

They want government to halt all attempt by the oil company to sell its land assets until it cleans up pollution.

Over forty civil society organizations, including Amnesty International have written to the government of Nigeria demanding the suspension of the sale of Shell’s land activities until the multinational company cleans up the pollution. In an open letter to the Nigerian industry regulator, the groups said the sale of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) to Renaissance Africa Energy should not be allowed unless the environmental pollution caused by SPDC is fully assessed, sufficient funds are provided by SPDC to guarantee clean-up costs and local communities fully consulted.
In January, the Dutch-British major announced that it had reached an agreement for the sale of its Niger Delta assets for a sum of $2.4 billion. But the NGOs say, the proposed sale of Shell’s onshore oil business in the Niger Delta region of southern Nigeria risks worsening human rights abuses and should be blocked by the government unless a series of safeguards are put in place. 
Amnesty International points to “regulatory and legal” failings. Namely, the absence of an environmental study and an inventory of the physical assets sold, “which should alert to the possible state of disrepair of the oil pipelines and infrastructure responsible for numerous leaks.” Speaking to reporters, Isa Sanusi, Amnesty International’s Nigeria Director, said: “There is now a substantial risk Shell will walk away with billions of dollars from the sale of this business, leaving those already harmed without remedy and facing continued abuse and harms to their health. Guarantees and financial safeguard...



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