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ERA/FoEN flays Shell for divesting oil facilities from Niger Delta

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Shell Petroleum Development Company

The Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN), yesterday, raised concerns over Shell’s plans to sell its land-based, shallow offshore oil fields and infrastructure in the Niger Delta region.

In a statement issued by Programmes Director of ERA/FoEN in Benin City, Mike Karikpo, the group accused Shell of having almost drained the region of its oil and gas resources and engaged in ecocide.

Karikpo said while ERA/FoEN has been championing campaigns to “leave the oil in the soil and to halt oil and gas extraction,” it strongly deplored the transnational corporation’s insensitivity for divesting from the region in the last few years.

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“Shell has been collecting huge payouts for the oil fields and infrastructure already sold, leaving local communities to deal with the devastation and destruction of the ecosystem, their lives and livelihoods its activities have caused.

“Shell recently sold OML 17 to HEIRS Holding in a deal worth over $500m and absolutely nothing was set aside for the remediation and restoration of the damaged ecosystem of communities around the area,” he said.

Executive Director of ERA/FoEN, Dr. Godwin Uyi Ojo, added that that Shell was indebted to the environment and the people of the Niger Delta region, describing its indebtedness as “a huge ecological debt for its reckless operations in the region” over the last seven decades.

Ojo urged the Federal Government to protect communities’ interest within the divestment process of oil and gas multinational companies operating in the Niger Delta region and halt Shell’s attempt to evade responsibility from the environmental mess it created without proper cleanup of the Niger Delta.

Also, a community leader and resident in the Niger Delta region, Eraks Kobah, said Shell was an enterprise in which its managers are only interested in maximising profit.

He noted that his community has been in court with Shell for decades over the major oil blowout and destruction of the environment and the community’s sources of livelihood around the Bomu manifold in Kedere area of Ogoni land.

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