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New report by Global Witness & Finance Uncovered implicate Shell and ENI in a bribery scandal in exchange for access to Nigeria's oil
Author: Global Witness (London), Published on: 10 April 2017
A new investigation by Global Witness and Finance Uncovered reveals how Shell, the world’s fifth biggest company, participated in a vast bribery scheme for one of Africa’s most valuable oil blocks, known as OPL 245. In 2011 Shell and the Italian oil company Eni paid $1.1 billion in a murky deal for this lucrative asset located off the coast of Nigeria. After a lengthy investigation, Global Witness tracked down documents showing that this money for the rights to exploit the country’s natural resources didn’t go to benefit the Nigerian people as it should have done. Instead it went to convicted money launderer and former oil Minister, Dan Etete, who had awarded himself ownership of the block in 1998 via a company he secretly owned, Malabu Oil and Gas...Shell portrays itself as an oil company that does good: obeying laws, creating jobs and respecting the human rights of people in the countries where it drills for oil. Yet our new investigation finds evidence of the company’s most senior bosses knowingly participating in a vast bribery scheme that would rob Nigeria of life-saving funds. Right now, five million Nigerians face starvation and one in ten children don’t live to see their fifth birthday. The money paid for the block equals more than the 2016 health care budget. It’s one and a half times what the UN says is now needed to respond to the current famine crisis. But the Nigerian people saw none of the money...A Shell spokesperson told Finance Uncovered: “Given this matter is currently under investigation, it would be inappropriate to comment on specifics...Eni told Global Witness that while proceedings were pending against Eni they did not deem it was appropriate to debate the merits of the new allegations.