CSO Urge Nigerian Government to Block Shell’s Sale of Onshore Oil Business

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Shell Plc’s proposed sale of its onshore oil business in Nigeria faces opposition from civil society groups, including Amnesty International, who are calling on the government to block the transaction to ensure adequate safeguards for human rights.

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The deal, valued at $1.3 billion and intended to be sold to Nigerian-owned Renaissance Africa Energy, is pending approval from Nigerian President Bola Tinubu. However, 40 groups, led by London-based Amnesty International, are urging authorities to halt the transaction until several safeguards are established.

In a report published on Monday, the groups emphasized the need for an assessment of environmental pollution around the assets, assurance of clean-up funds, and consultation with local communities. They argue that these measures are essential to protect the rights of affected communities and mitigate the environmental impact of the operations.

The delay in approving the transaction reflects a broader trend in the Nigerian oil sector, with several oil deals in the Niger Delta currently on hold. Despite initial optimism following Tinubu’s election last year, progress in the sector has stalled, affecting not only Shell but also other major players like Exxon Mobil Corp., Eni SpA, and Equinor ASA.

The consortium set to acquire Shell’s assets includes ND Western Limited, Aradel Holdings Plc, FIRST Exploration and Petroleum Development Company Limited, the Waltersmith Group, and the Petrolin Group. However, the fate of the deal remains uncertain as civil society groups push for stronger protections and accountability measures before granting approval.


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