As the International Oil Company (IOC) commences processes of divestment in Nigeria oil industry, the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) has called on the members of the National Assembly to review the processes of divestment by organising a public hearing to address the environmental and human rights concerns raised by host communities, as regards the divestment plans of the international oil companies in Nigeria.
The organisation in a statement Wednesday by its communication officer, Elvira Jordan and the executive director of ERA/FoEN, Chima Williams, stated this during an advocacy visit to the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Hon. Kingsley Chinda in Abuja, as part of ERA/FoEN’s efforts to ensure that oil-bearing communities in the Niger Delta are not short-changed by divesting IOCs.
Speaking at the meeting, Williams stated that the controversy generated by the plans by Eni to sell its Nigerian subsidiary to Oando has exposed how the multinationals mine with reckless abandon and then leave the toxic assets for indigenous companies that refuse to shoulder their liabilities.
He stated that the decision of the oil firms to leave the region without remediating oil pollutions on farmlands and water systems was tantamount to sucking the juice from a fruit and leaving the chaff behind.
“In virtually all the cases where IOC divestment has happened, host communities feel used and dumped hence a legislative intervention has become necessary. A public hearing is one among several approaches to address the new trend of the divestments by the multinationals, as they now see divestment plans as a way of running away from their responsibilities.”