Amnesty International leads push to halt Shell asset sale in Nigeria

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Civil society groups, spearheaded by Amnesty International, are urging the government to block Shell Plc’s proposed sale of its onshore oil business in Nigeria. They argue that this action is necessary to ensure adequate safeguards for human rights.

  • Civil society groups, spearheaded by Amnesty International, are urging the government to block Shell Plc’s proposed sale of its onshore oil business in Nigeria.
  • In January, Shell Plc announced the sale of its Nigerian onshore oil and gas subsidiary to the consortium Renaissance.
  • The groups are advocating for several safeguards to be implemented, including an assessment of environmental pollution surrounding the assets.
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In January, Shell Plc announced the sale of its Nigerian onshore oil and gas subsidiary to the consortium Renaissance. Since 2021, Shell has actively pursued the sale of its Nigerian oil and gas business, which has long grappled with issues of spills and theft.

The deal, aimed at fulfilling Shell’s objective of exiting operations in the challenging Niger Delta region, is pending approval from President Bola Tinubu.

Environmental concerns

The development has stirred environmental concerns in Africa’s largest economy. Nigerian environmentalists and residents want Shell to clean up land and water ruined by oil spills and to pay compensation before it sells its assets.

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Now, 40 groups, led by London-based Amnesty International, have urged authorities in the West African nation to halt the transaction until several safeguards are implemented.

These include an assessment of environmental pollution around the assets, a commitment to clean-up funds, and consultation with local communities.

Several oil deals in the Niger Delta region are currently stalled and hopes that Tinubu’s election last year would accelerate transactions in the sector have diminished.

Exxon Mobil Corp., Eni SpA, and Equinor ASA are among the companies awaiting regulatory approval to complete the sale of their Nigerian assets.

The Renaissance 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, Bloomberg reported.

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