Campaign Organizations Demand Shell’s Planned Exit from Nigeria Be Halted

The Dutch oil tycoon Shell is under pressure from advocacy organizations to delay its ambitions to sell assets in Nigeria’s Niger Delta until after its infrastructure has been properly cleaned up and decommissioned. This week, a report by a nonprofit organization with headquarters in the Netherlands accused Shell of attempting to downplay its role in oil leaks. According to a report by the Center for Research on Multinational Corporations titled “Selling Out Nigeria — Shell’s Irresponsible Divestment,” the divestiture of the Dutch oil company from its Nigerian assets must be halted until the assets have been cleaned up and decommissioned. The group claimed that Shell was attempting to disassociate itself from the decades-long oil leaks in Nigeria’s Niger Delta region, which contaminated farms and bodies of water.


Nigerian oil and gas exploration was pioneered by Shell in 1937, but since then, its operations have been dogged by controversy and litigation from local populations. Shell frequently accused communities of sabotage and vandalism as the cause of broken pipelines, oil spills, and degradation of the environment. The business declared in January that it will sell its onshore operations for $2.4 billion to a group of five local businesses. Shell claimed that by making the change, it will be able to concentrate on more profitable offshore ventures and demonstrate that local entrepreneurs can capture a bigger portion of Nigeria’s oil and gas sector. However, Nwadishi stated that Shell’s departure would serve as a poor model for other foreign companies doing business in Nigeria if the pollution problem is not resolved.


The founder of Enermics Consulting, Emmanuel Afimia, stated that the Shell divestiture proposal needs to be taken seriously by Nigerian authorities. The following policies should be put in place in Nigeria, according to Afimia: create a strong regulatory framework that holds multinational companies responsible for the harm their operations cause to the environment; make sure that impacted communities are consulted, included in the cleanup process, and have their needs and concerns met. “We need to monitor and evaluate the cleanup process regularly to ensure that it is being done properly and transparently.” VOA has not heard back from Nigeria’s National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency regarding their comments regarding the Shell incident.

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