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.Urges govt to go after SPDC
Williams lamented that it would be shameful that the Nigerian government would value its quest for revenue over the lives and livelihoods of the common people who have suffered from the decades long environmental pollution caused by Shell
By Valentine Amanze
The Environmental Rights Action/ Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) has called on the Nigerian government to stop Shell Petroleum Development Company’s (SPDC) divestment plans and ensure it pays fot its environmental crimes in the Niger Delta.
This is coming on the heels of SPDC’s plans to sell its onshore facilities to a conglomerate of five domestic oil companies.
Shell pioneered Nigeria’s oil and gas exploration in the 1930s, with hundreds of oil spills traced to its operations in host communities that continue to suffer the consequences of pollution to their environment, health and livelihood.
The Executive Director of ERA/FoEN, Mr. Chima Williams, faulted Shell for ploting to run away from its crimes even with the uproar that greeted its divestment plns in affected communities and among civil society organizations.
His words: “As an organization that has tracked the activities of multinational oil companies for decades we insist that the decision of Shell to sell off its onshore facilities to domestic companies, with the intention of remaining in Nigeria to conduct their business offshore, is a deliberate attempt to evade the liabilities the company has incurred overtime.”
He urged the Nigerian government not to allow Shell to abandon its onhore facilities to domestic companies without cleaning up the damage they caused on the environment, and the cost to locals who had been impoverished by their business activities.
“These communities, which have played host to Shell for decades have been left in abject poverty, with several degrees of damages to their health and environment, while Shell explores their resources to enrich foreign coffers.
“Shell should not be allowed to sell off its facilities and abandon the liabilities they owe these communities.”
Williams lamented that it would be shameful that the Nigerian government would value its quest for revenue over the lives and livelihoods of the common people who have suffered from the decades long environmental pollution caused by Shell.
He called on the President Bola Tinubu-led administration to ensure that Shell’s divestment plans are accompanied by full remediation plans in their various communities of operations, and full payments of loss and damages to host communities.
He also called for a close evaluation and monitoring of Shell’s offshore operations to checkmate the scope of their activities to avert any impending damages to the environment.