Stop Shell BP from operating in Nigeria, ANEEJ tell FG

A Non Governmental Organization, Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ) has called on the Federal Government to stop Shell BP from operating in Nigeria, saying that the multinational oil company has done serious harm to the environment in Nigeria.

‘The President of Nigeria and the NNPC Limited should withdraw the Operating License of Shell BP because of their complicity in the environmental and ecological injustices ranging from divestment from on-shore to off-shore, leaving behind the problems it created in the Niger Delta, weakened climate change commitment for short-term profit, and it’s poor human rights record in Nigeria,’ the Non Governmental Organization said in a statement it issued at the end of its 2023 AGM convened in Abuja, on Wednesday May 17.

According to the statement, the Meeting had 68 participants drawn from across Nigeria including the Niger Delta region and other emerging oil producing States of the country.

The organization expressed concern over the new communities in Nigeria where oil fields are being developed, noting that they must ensure compliance with globally accepted environmental and exploration best practices in order to avert falling into the sorry state of oil producing communities in the Niger Delta.

ANEEJ also expressed concern over the United Kingdom’s Supreme Court judgment on the Shell Bonga Oil Spill Case.

The group described as ‘false,’ the claim by the Norwegian Oil Fund as contained in its report –  titled “Responsible Investment Report,” in which it claimed that Shell is making progress with the cleanup process and engaging local communities.

According to ANEEJ, after evaluating testimonies of indigenous people on the impact of oil exploration activities on the environment and livelihood of the people, it is correct to state that there is no political commitment to end gas flaring in Nigeria.

It called on the Norwegian Oil Fund and other investors to follow the example of The Church of England which made a commitment to vote against all directors at the upcoming AGMs of Exxon Mobile, Occidental Petroleum, Shell, and Total Energies, in response to their failure to meet climate change objectives.

As part of its recommendation, the group encouraged researchers and concerned academics to ‘conduct further research on the activities of oil companies ongoing in Kogi, Nasarawa, Gombe, and other parts of Nigeria, to promote learning and experience-sharing between Niger Delta communities and other parts of Nigeria’ as a way to avoid pitfalls of the past.

The group said: ‘The Energy Transition Plan of oil companies should be in compliance with Paris Agreement on climate change and Climate Change Act, reflecting the perspectives of communities affected by decades of fossil fuel extraction.’

While calling on international financial institutions including African Development Bank, the World Bank and Export Credit agencies to discontinue financing fossil fuel projects in Nigeria, ANEEJ re-stated its earlier call for the companies’ major investors to go to the Niger Delta for the fact-finding mission and resolved to undertake high-level advocacy to engage the investors and government currently supporting SHELL, Total Energies, Exxon Mobil and other oil companies in Nigeria.

‘Oil companies including SHELL, Exxon Mobil, Chevron and their investors such as Blackrock, Vanguard, Legal and General Investment management, should take responsibility for loss and damage in the Niger Delta as recommended during COP27.

‘We urge the Federal government, particularly the incoming administration to demonstrate the political will to end gas flaring in Nigeria.

The statement which was signed by Legborsi Saro of African Indigenous Foundation for Energy and Publish What You Pay, and David Ugolor of Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ) respectively, stated that ‘there are technical and governance issues with the cleanup of Ogoniland which is slowing down the process,’ adding that the lack of stability in the leadership of the governing Council of Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) is a major challenge to the realization of set goals.

The group therefore called on the Federal Government of Nigeria to ‘appoint a substantive chairman for the Governing Council of HYPREP to ensure consistency in the leadership,’ adding that government, companies and other stakeholders should contribute to the remediation process by supporting the development and adoption of new technologies that can accelerate the Ogoni cleanup.

‘We also call on HYPREP to embark on full scale livelihood restoration programme for the Ogoni people,’ adding that there should an unbiased investigation into the remediation process in Ogoni land as well environmental and health audits of the entire Niger Delta and a total cleanup of the region.

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