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PRESS STATEMENT: Niger Delta Women say NO to DIVESTMENT without Ecosystem Restoration

Shell's decision to sell its Nigeria subsidiary Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, and all on-shore assets to investors without consulting communities is unhealthy, unethical, irresponsible, and therefore unacceptable. The information came to Kebetkache Women Development & Resource Centre and allied community-based women organizations as a surprise. Communities in the Niger Delta have been at the receiving end of the environmental devastation caused by activities of the company. Shell PLC plans to sell SPDC shares to Renaissance Africa Energy, a consortium of investors with regards for its legacy of the damage to the environment and the need for appropriate consultation with all stakeholders, remedy and social and legal license to exit. It is instructive that the company has already divested OML 34 to ND Western; OML 17 and OML 29 without proper guidelines. We use this medium to call on the federal government not to approve the planned sale of these companies in Nigeria until the polluted farmlands in the Niger Delta have been cleaned up and restored by these companies.



The story is similar with the other oil majors in Nigeria. Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC), Exxon Mobil Nigeria Limited, and Total Energy Nigeria Limited, are poised to divest their onshore assets without engaging host communities and rectifying the damages done to the environment and the well-being of peoples.


As affected Niger Delta women, we are concerned about the swiftness of these divestment

plans because the government has not provided guidelines to resolve pollution issues before SPDC, AGIP, and Total Energies leave. The companies involved have failed to create women development funds to help oil extraction victims.



Women in the Niger Delta suffer from environmental degradation and oil exploitation. They ensure the family's subsistence by farming, processing, and trading. Oil extraction has degraded the environment, forcing women to work in polluted swamps, lowering crop yields and increasing poverty.


Women are worried as they are unaware of the reputations of the new companies acquiring Shell, AGIP, and Exxon Mobil assets. Besides, gas flaring has persisted to this moment in Ebocha, Ibeno, Umuechem, and other areas in the reion, with communities like Otuabagi conitnueing to grapple with the impacts. Farming, fishing, and hunting have been severely affected, leading to health problems among women exposed to hydrocarbons.


The planned divestment has not factored the interest of community people. Thus, we

condemn international oil companies’ attempt to avoid responsibility by selling assets.


We call on the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to ensure NO DIVESTMENT

WITHOUT ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION!



The government must ensure that companies selling oil assets clean up Niger Delta polluted sites and restore livelihoods. We strongly oppose IRRESPONSIBLE DIVESTMENT and request that the Rivers State Governor obtain a court injunction to stop the sale of assets.


We are saying no to IRRESPONSIBLE DIVESTMENT!


Signed

Emem Okon - Kebetkache Women Development & Resource Centre

Glory Alexander - Alauchi Women Development Initiative, Ibeno

Patience Osaroejiji - Mba Okase Women, Eleme

Enighe Elo - Abua Women Association

Lezina Patrick - Coalition of Ogoni Women Development Initiative

George Bielaye

Pius Dukor - Pius Dukor Foundationa

Anthony Aalo - Kallop Environmental Centre

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