The Norwegian Oil Fund (NBIM) has been taken to task on oil pollution in the Niger Delta by the Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ) at a panel discussion led by its executive director, Dr. David Ugolor in Oslo, Norway.
The panel discussion which also had the Executive Director, Ideal Women Advancement Initiative, Affiah Foh Bridget, and Celestine Akpobari of the Ogoni Solidarity Forum was part of a breakfast meeting between human rights activists, NGOs, journalists and other critical stakeholders.
The breakfast meeting was to amplify concerns raised by ANEEJ and the other groups about the role of oil companies in human rights violations in Nigeria.
At the meeting Ugolor explained that cvountries like Norway that value their image have to be held responsible for Shell’s pollution in the Niger Delta even as he added that the groups will not stop asking the Oil Fund to visit the Niger Delta.
He revealed that during the Bank’s next Annual General Meeting the Nigeria groups will be holding a people’s tribunal to hear directly from locals and insisting that the institution must contribute to solving the problem.
He stressed that while communities are not stopping the oil firms from pu;;ing out from the areas where they mine onshore, such firms have to pull out with responsibility by taking care of the liabilities they created.
“There’s also the International dimension. The Nigerian government, because of debt, is hardly able to implement economic policies that will give sovereignty. And when you lose that sovereignty, you are hardly able to hold Oil firms accountable.
“However, we cannot fold our arms and keep quiet. That’s why actions, such as this meeting, are taking place,”
Part of the mission of the groups’ activities in Norway is to raise awareness among the citizens groups, community leaders and decision-makers about Shell’s destruction in Nigeria as well as oil companies’ role in human rights violation and climate change.