Port Harcourt — The Niger Delta Congress, NDC, has vowed to take legal action against the Royal Dutch Shell, should her subsidiaries in Nigeria failed to fix the environmental carnage it has created in the Niger Delta region, before her planned divestment of its onshore assets.
Recall that the Chief Executive Officer of the Royal Dutch Shell – the parent company of the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria, SPDC, Ben van Beurden, recently confirmed that the company was in talks with the Nigerian government to sell the company’s stake in onshore and shallow water oilfields in the Niger Delta region.
The planned divestment is not unconnected with incessant cases of oil spills, pipeline vandalism and sabotage as well as operational issues. The spills have led to costly repair operations and high-profile lawsuits against the company.
Reacting on the development, the Niger Delta Congress condemned the planned divestment of the shallow waters and onshore assets by Shell.
Spokesman of the group, Mr Ovunda Eni, in a statement issued in Port Harcourt, reminded Shell of the many spillages that have plagued the Niger Delta region as a result of their operations.
The group gave SPDC seven days ultimatum to retrace its steps and do the right thing for the Niger Delta environment, else it will take legal steps against the company.
Eni regretted that the region has suffered six decades of degradation over Shell’s failure to carry out a proper environmental impact assessment, a holistic clean up exercise, and compensation of affected communities and individuals.
“We believe at the core of this divestment is the plan by Shell to avoid taking responsibility for the environmental carnage it has supervised in the Niger Delta since Nigeria’s independence.
“We demand that a comprehensive audit of areas where Shell has operated be carried out with the government, followed by a corresponding clean up of all affected environment.
“There must be adequate recompense for the negative externalities our people have borne and will bear in the future, before any further divestment by the SPDC,” he said.