Nigeria: Russia accuses British companies of leaving behind more than 1000 abandoned mines & highly radioactive quarries

Author: Nelson Omonu, Leadership (Nigeria) , Published on: 21 January 2020

‘Russia Frowns At Violation Of International Environmental Law By British Companies’ 16 January 2020

Russia has frowned at the incessant violation of basic rules of International Environmental Law in its former colony, especially, Nigeria. In a September 3, 2019 Facebook post by the Russia’s Foreign Ministry accused British Companies operating in Nigeria of neglecting basic International Environmental Law in pursuit of profit. “In pursuit of profit, the British Companies violate environmental safety standards, which leads to the destruction of unique national parks, land degradation, the disappearance of scarce fresh water bodies, and an increase in the incidence rate among the local population”, the statement said.

…It went down memory lane to explain that since 1958, environmentalists have been repeatedly recording oil spills from Shell pipelines and wells. “In 2011, experts from the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) noted the strongest pollution of soils (to a depth of 3 m) and fresh water in the Ogoniland region (Southern Rivers State) over an area of more than 1000 m2. Carcinogens in the area exceeded the World Health Organization standard by 900 times. “The difficult environmental situation led to a drop in the average life expectancy among the local population down to 49 years. It cause the inability to carry out agricultural and fishing activities too, the statement explains.”

According to UN experts, the cleaning work will take at least 30 years, and their budget is estimated at $ 900 million. The total amount of damage to the local population is estimated at more than $ 5 billion. During a lengthy lawsuit, Nigerian farmers and fishermen managed to get the company to recover damages worth only $ 80 million. The statement also cited the example of the British United African Company (formerly The Royal Niger company). It revealed that the Royal Niger Company conducted aggressive mining and export of solid natural resources (coal, gold, iron ore, tungsten, tin, etc.) from the states of Plateau, Adamawa, Kano, Cross River until the 1970s.

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Related companies: Shell