Calls have been made by human rights organizations for a reassessment of Shell’s activities in Nigeria as the company prepares to leave the country.
On Tuesday, Amnesty International and other organizations advocating for human rights expressed worry about the sale of Shell’s onshore operations in Nigeria by the British oil company.
On Tuesday, Shell announced that it had finalized its plans to sell assets for $2.4 billion. However, Amnesty International insists that authorities must ensure that the company takes action to address oil spills from the past several decades before completing the sale.
On the social media platform X, Amnesty expressed that Shell should not be able to evade responsibility for the issues and simply walk away.
The global organization urged Nigerian officials to demand a comprehensive examination of the current pollution caused by Shell and the condition of its infrastructure prior to authorizing a change in ownership.
Shell has announced its intention to divest its assets in Nigeria after operating there for almost 100 years. The sale will be made to a group primarily made up of local companies, pending approval from Nigerian authorities.
According to Aminu Hayatu, a researcher specializing in conflict at Amnesty International, the organization has expressed worry over the deterioration of the environment in the Niger Delta region.
According to Hayatu, the actions of multinational corporations have long been causing harm to the environment. Amnesty International plans to closely monitor the arrival of new companies, departure of old ones, and interactions between governments and these companies regarding their operations in those regions.
Shell announced that it will continue to run offshore businesses with lower levels of difficulty, and that the onshore assets will be taken over by Renaissance, the new owner.
Shell has faced numerous challenges in the Niger Delta area, including oil spills, acts of vandalism, theft, and sabotage. These issues have resulted in legal action being taken against the company over the years.
According to Faith Nwadishi, the creator of the Center for Transparency Advocacy, Shell is evading their responsibilities because local communities are becoming more informed and are taking legal action against the company in their own country. This often results in favorable outcomes for the community, while Shell simply abandons their obligations and leaves them for others to handle.
Shell’s decision to cease onshore operations in Nigeria is in line with the trend of other Western energy companies looking for more profitable and sustainable ventures.
The new leadership has announced that the company’s employees will be kept on board.
However, Nwadishi acknowledges that there are still lingering concerns.
She stated that whoever is assuming control should be aware of the liabilities they are inheriting. She questioned whether the negotiations accounted for the costs of cleanup and compensation for the community. She believes that the terms of the agreement should be disclosed to the public.
It is uncertain how the Nigerian government will react.