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1 Dec 2022

Daniel Abia, Independent Newspapers (Nigeria)

Nigeria: CSOs call on govt. to ensure international oil companies comply with the demands to restore the pristine glory of the Niger Delta environment after 64 years of operations

‘Oil Companies Are Running Away From Ecological Justice After 64 Years Of Operation In Nigeria’ 29 November 2022

Oil Companies operating in the Niger Delta region have been accused of not divesting in Nigeria, but busy running away from ecological justice after 64-years of operation and at a time the Nigerian crude oil sector is passing through an unprecedented twist in the investment direction of key transnational oil companies. In May 2021, Shell announced that it plans to sell off all its onshore oil assets and go into ‘deep waters’, as part of moves it describes as ‘divestment’… According to Total’s CEO, their plans to leave is because “disruption of local communities are sources of great concerns”. Henshaw said Shell’s CEO claimed, they were divesting because investing in the Niger Delta now represents “an exposure that doesn’t fit with our risk appetite anymore.

…The commencement of the remediation of impacted places, restoration of the human and ecological damages causes by extraction activities and reparations for the irreversible losses and damages the people have suffered for the last 64 years. But, the Civil Society Organization, “We The People” (WTP) has vowed to initiate a law suit against International Oil Companies divesting offshore after destroying the Niger Delta environment in the cause of their activities. This is as the group noted that the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) offered access to the IOCs to criminally divest offshore without remediating and restoring the already damaged environment of the region.

…“I think what the oil companies have done to the Niger Delta, the environmental pollution they have caused, the livelihood loss they have caused, the destruction of the environment they have engendered, the well-known and documented health risks that they oil companies have created, are enough grounds to take them to court. “We think the oil companies can be found wanting and accounting on the basis of the fact that they have for 64 years of extraction, destroyed the traditional livelihood of the people…It is indeed, left to be seen what action the Nigerian government would take to ensure that the international oil companies comply with the demands of the civil liberty organizations which is mainly geared towards restoring the pristine glory of the Niger Delta environment.