Action Needed: Nigeria Urged by Amnesty to Block Shell Oil Business Sale

Nigeria Urged by Amnesty to Block Shell Oil Business Sale
ReutersCopyright: Reuters Activists blame Shell for frequent oil leaks in the Niger Delta (file photo)

Nigeria Urged by Amnesty to Block Shell Oil Business Sale

Amnesty International, a prominent human rights charity, has added its voice to the growing calls urging the Nigerian government to halt Shell’s plans to sell its onshore oil business there. According to Amnesty, the proposed sale of Shell’s oil and gas assets should be prevented unless adequate measures are taken to safeguard human rights in the Niger Delta region.

The charity contends that allowing Shell to proceed with the sale without addressing the human rights concerns stemming from its operations could exacerbate existing abuses. Specifically, Amnesty highlights the urgent need for Shell to address the environmental pollution it has caused in the Niger Delta, which has had detrimental effects on local communities.

Amnesty International asserts that Shell must commit to allocating sufficient funds to remediate the environmental damage it has inflicted and ensure that affected communities are actively involved in the decision-making process regarding the sale, valued at over $2.4 billion (£2 billion).

Activists have long accused Shell of being responsible for numerous oil spills in the Niger Delta, resulting in the contamination of groundwater sources and other environmental hazards. Despite these challenges, Nigeria’s government has yet to respond to concerns about the proposed sale.

In response to criticisms, Shell has previously pledged that any new owners would assume responsibility for addressing the environmental impacts caused by its operations. However, the demands from Amnesty International and other advocacy groups underscore the pressing need for comprehensive action to mitigate the human rights and environmental consequences of Shell’s activities in Nigeria.

As discussions surrounding the sale continue, the involvement of human rights organizations like Amnesty International is a crucial reminder of prioritizing human rights and environmental sustainability in corporate decision-making processes. It remains to be seen how Shell and the Nigerian government will address these concerns moving forward.

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