Group accuses Shell of abandoning Nigerian community after draining resources

The Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) has accused the oil giant, Shell of “seeking to walk away from its crime scene with billions of dollars in its kitty” after “having almost drained the region dry of oil and gas resources and engaging in ecocide”.

Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) deplored the recent disclosure that Shell plans to sell its land based and shallow offshore oil fields and infrastructures in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.

ERA/FoEN, in a statement issued from its head offices in the Edo State capital on Monday, August 2, 2021 and signed by Mike Karikpo, Programmes Director, states that whilst it has been at the forefront of campaigns to leave the oil in the soil and to halt oil and gas extraction, it “strongly deplores the insensitivity of the transnational corporation that has over the last few years been divesting from the region, collecting huge payouts for the oil fields and infrastructure sold and leaving local communities to deal with the devastation and destruction of the ecosystem, their lives and livelihoods”.

According to the group, Shell recently sold OML 17 to HEIRS Holding in a deal worth well over half a billion dollars “and absolutely nothing was set aside for the remediation and restoration of the damaged ecosystem of communities around this area”.

A community leader and critic of Shell in the Niger Delta region, Mr Eraks Kobah, says that “Shell is only interested in maximising profit”. He states further 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 Kdere in the Ogoni area of Nigeria.

Executive Director of ERA/FoEN, Dr. Godwin Uyi Ojo, states: “Shell owes the environment and the people of the Niger Delta region a huge ecological debt for its reckless operations in the region over the last seven decades.”