ERA/FoEN, groups advance legislative paths to checking faulty divestments in the Niger Delta 

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The Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth NIgeria (ERA/FoEN) has tasked the National Assembly on forcing intransigent oil firms selling off their toxic assets in the Niger Delta to take responsibility for their mess before leaving the host communities

This call was the core message at a virtual discussion which had as theme Time for Legislative Pathway on International Oil Companies (IOCs) Divestment in Niger Delta organised by ERA/FoEN on Thursday 28 March 2024. 

The event was attended by a host of media organizations and civil society.

ERA/FoEN Executive Director, Chima Williams explained that the motives of the IOC divestments from the Niger Delta is to evade liability and avoid taking responsibility for decades of oil extraction which has led to the destruction of the environment in the Niger Delta.

Williams stressed that the companies owe the communities the obligation of cleaning the oil spills and restoring the environment to its pristine state. Instead of doing this, they have resorted to backdoor sale of the toxic assets to indigenous firms that want to have nothing to do with the liabilities the former owners have left behind.

He aaid the National Assembly has the task of halting the divestments and forcing the oil firms to address the concerns that ERA/ FoEN and the communities have raised through the divestment campaign since 2022.

Executive Director of Socio Economic Research and Development Center, Tijani Abdakareemin his intervention explined that the same scenario that played out in the Niger Delta where hopes of prosperity from oil were dashed will happen in the north even as he revealed that farmlands have been taken and many community people forced off their lands to pave way for oil exploration. 

Abdulkareem said that.there are allegations that thugs are neing used to chase some communities off their land and supposed trouble makers hounded out of their ancestral lands in a bid to ensure there is no resistance to the oil business.

“These activities will worsen the banditary in the north already happening. Conflicts are now happening between the Gombe and Bauchi communities bordering the oil well and the social impacts are now there”, he narrated.

He frowned at the fact that there is currently no dialogue between the government and the citizens there, even as he insiated that the discussions ongoing are only with the elite. 

He maintained that the crisis is building up and pollution will worsen it.

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