June 19, 2024

ANEEJ applauds Reps over suspension of IOCs’ onshore divestments

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Ilenre Irele

The Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice, ANEEJ, has given kudos to the House of Representatives for its timely intervention in the planned onshore divestment by Shell Nigeria and other international oil companies from the Niger Delta region.

It would be recalled that the House of Reps last week gave directives to the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulation Commission, NUPRC, and the Minister of State for Petroleum to withhold consent for these divestments until the companies comply with the provisions of the Petroleum Industry Act and NUPRC decommissioning guidelines.

ANEEJ Acting Executive Director, Leo Atakpu, lauded the House of Representatives for its unwavering support for the people of the Niger Delta who have endured severe environmental pollution and loss of livelihoods due to the operations of multinational oil companies.

Atakpu noted that the House’s decision was a direct response to the resolutions from its 3rd Peoples AGM convened by ANEEJ in Warri, Delta State.

He said The Peoples AGM called on the government to reject the divestment plan and sale of onshore facilities by Shell and other IOCs until community concerns are addressed and the companies address the environmental challenges and livelihood losses they have caused in the Niger Delta.

“We are delighted that the House of Representatives has taken up the challenge and decided to stand up for the impacted communities in the Niger Delta who do not have the luxury of moving on from the devastation and environmental degradation left in the wake of oil exploration by oil companies.

“Let me use this opportunity to encourage the Nigerian government to properly fund the regulatory agencies to ensure that they carry out their functions effectively to avoid regulatory capture by the fleeing multinational oil companies.

“This way, the regulators will be able to hold the multinational oil companies to account for the damage done to the environment in the Niger Delta, and not allow the regulated to dictate the pace,” Atakpu concluded.

The resolution of the House of Representatives followed the adoption of a motion sponsored by Hon. Imo Ugochinyere.

ANEEJ said the motion, titled “The need to ensure IOCs involved in the divestment of assets in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria comply with the decommissioning, abandonment regulations and guidelines of the NUPRC as enshrined in the PIA,” underscores the National Assembly’s role in ensuring peace, order, and good governance, as stipulated in Section 4(2) of the constitution.

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