Wednesday, June 7, 2023


Amnesty to Tinubu: Ensure Shell provides compensation to oil spills victims before sale of assets

Amnesty to Tinubu: Ensure Shell provides compensation to oil spills victims before sale of assets
May 25
18:30 2023

Amnesty International has asked the incoming administration of President-elect Bola Tinubu, to ensure that Shell compensates victims of oil spills before completing the planned sale of its onshore assets in the Niger Delta.

In a statement on Thursday, the human rights organisation said it has documented “grievous and enduring human rights abuses resulting from oil contamination in the area, where Shell has operated since the 1950s”.

The institution also asked the incoming government to ensure that the proposed sale of assets does not lead to a further deterioration in human rights in the region.

“Amnesty International is concerned that the proposed sale will deny people already harmed access to adequate remedy, and potentially expose many more to future abuses,” the statement reads.


The international organisation said a new report, titled, ‘Tainted Sale,’ recommends a series of safeguards and actions to help protect the rights of people potentially affected by “Shell’s planned disposal of its onshore oil interests in the Niger Delta, reportedly for about $3 billion”.

Speaking on the issue, Mark Dummett, Amnesty International’s head of business and human rights, said for decades, spills have damaged the health and livelihoods of many of the Niger Delta’s inhabitants.

“Shell should not be allowed to wash its hands of the problems and leave. Shell has earned billions of dollars from this business and it must make sure that its withdrawal does not have negative human rights and environmental consequences,” he said.


Dummett argued that by exercising appropriate oversight of Shell’s sale, Nigeria’s incoming government has a unique opportunity to demonstrate its determination to uphold and protect the human rights of its citizens (including their rights to an adequate standard of living, clean water, and health).

He said Amnesty International is also calling for an effective remedy for people whose rights have long been abused.

“We urge the new government, under President-elect Bola Tinubu, to ensure Shell’s sale does not end or limit the company’s liabilities,” Dummett said.

“As a condition of sale, it should require Shell to provide a full assessment of all existing pollution in the Delta, ensure it has provided satisfactory remediation for any damage, and that local inhabitants’ concerns about the sale process are fully appraised and addressed.


“The government should consider requiring Shell to act as a guarantor to ensure any purchaser is capable of making good and remediating damage caused by any future spills and that any buyer is committed to transparency, environmental compliance, consultations with communities, and limiting greenhouse gas emissions.

“Of course, rather than finding buyers and wringing the last drops of oil from a region so long blighted by the industry, the better option would be remedying the harms caused, and phasing out production.

“The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change forecasts that without accelerating the phasing out of fossil fuels worldwide, global temperatures will rise by more than an agreed limit of 1.5C versus pre-industrial levels.”

After decades of “exploitation”, Dummett said retiring production in the Niger Delta would be a step in the right direction.



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