May 22, 2024

Pollution: Activists ask Shell to clean up communities before leaving Nigeria

IOCs violate Nigerian diving regulations — NAPROD

By Juliet Umeh

Groups of activists and community leaders s yesterday called on oil company, Shell, to clean up communities it had allegedly messed up in the cause of its oil extraction before leaving Nigeria.

The groups, Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa, CAPPA, and Health of Mother Earth Foundation, HOMEF, which took to the streets of Lagos, to press down their demand, also said the oil company had concluded plans to leave the shores of Nigeria.

Executive Director, Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa, CAPPA, Akinbode Oluwafemi, said: “While the entire leadership of Shell, including its chairman, board members, directors, and stakeholders, convenes today in the United Kingdom for its Annual General Meeting, AGM, we gather here in front of its Lagos Head Office in Nigeria to restate our long standing grievances.

“Indeed, Shell’s shareholders would rather choose the comfort of the Intercontinental London Hotel, to review their deceitful and environmental devastation strategies without any regard for the dignity and sanity of people who are at the receiving end of their hazardous operations.

“They would rather the cozy ambiance of artificial nature than care about the growing impact and problems their reckless oil extraction inflicts upon vulnerable communities in Africa and elsewhere.

“In Nigeria, the absurdity reaches new heights as Shell sets to divest its onshore business and offload its toxic assets to Renaissance, a consortium of five companies, including four local exploration and production entities and an international energy group.

“This polluting corporation, after decades of mindless operations in the country’s Niger Delta region, is about to flee from its atrocities, leaving behind a wake of destruction, of farmlands and water bodies now contaminated with huge deposits of petroleum and of poor communities, livelihoods, and public health wrecked by years of its merciless extractive onslaught.

“Additionally, Shell allegedly intends to provide a loan to these buyers to help them purchase the same assets. This shameless ploy to offload liabilities while continuing to profit from the transaction reveals the depth of Shell’s exploitation and the lengths it will go to maintain its stranglehold on Nigeria’s resources while evading accountability.”

Executive Director of HOMEF, Rev. Nnimmo Bassey, said: “We want an independent and comprehensive assessment of the environment of the entire Niger Delta and an open and comprehensive health audit of the people living in extractive communities across the Niger Delta.

“We want a cleanup, remediation, and restoration of all polluted and contaminated areas linked to Shell’s extractivism and that Shell and Chevron should be held accountable for the destruction of communities in the Niger Delta, among others.”