Home News Stakeholders decry endemic corruption in oil, gas sector

Stakeholders decry endemic corruption in oil, gas sector

by Business News Report

Operators in oil and gas sector and human rights groups have lamented the astronomical rate at which corruption is eating deep into the oil and gas sector of the country and lack of political will to tackle the attendant effect of environmental dangers facing the Niger Delta region. Critical stakeholders at the 35th Anti-Corruption situation Room(ACSR) workshop in Port Harcourt, Rivers state capital organised by the Human and Environmental Development Agenda, HEDA, Resource Centre in collaboration with the National Human Right Commission, NURC, supported by the Mac-Authur Foundation, described endemic corruption in the oil and gas sector as worrisome. The groups accused key actors in the industry of cutting corners to run away from its operations in the Niger Delta without actually addressing the numerous environmental and human rights abuses that have arisen through such operations.

 Stakeholders at the event took a united position against the triple effect of Environmental pollution, Human rights violations and corruption in the Divestment in the Oil and Gas sector in oil producing communities of the Niger Delta region. In his speech at the event, a UK based Human rights Activist and founder Corner House, Nicholas Hildyard slammed Shell for using legal sleight to cut corners and run away from its responsibilities in the Niger Delta without addressing the various impacts involving environmental and human rights abuses in the region. Hildyard, an investigator however lauded organisers of the event for bringing the issues for discussion, while adding that it will be no exaggeration to say NUPRC is all that stands between the proposed sale of SPDC’s offshore assets and potential environmental genocide, especially for best divestment practice (and Nigeria law) to be followed.

The rights activist recalled concerns over breaches of NUPRC rules, saying Corner House was one of 40 groups which recently wrote to NUPRC expressing concerns over the proposed SPDC’s asset sale. “We highlighted a number of areas where the proposed SPDC’s asset sale appears to be in breach of NUPRC`s divestment rules. The overall exercise requires NUPRC standards and assessment of the prospective successor entity’s balance sheet and financial viability and suitability, alignment with state interest, reputation, investment objective and track record”. 

 Also speaking at the sideline of the event, the Chairman, HEDA Olanrewaju Suraju, expressed sadness about the operations of some International Oil Companies, IOCs operating in Nigerian and the consequences of what most oil bearing communities are going through. Suraju called on the public to always be on the watch out to expose any human rights abuses and corruption in any guise that would affect their environment or source of livelihood. Earlier, in their various presentations on Human Rights Abuses and Environmental Degradation, Celestine Akpobari, Emem Bridget and Kathryn Nwjiaku -Dahou , shared their experiences and the horror about rights abuses and pains Niger Delta people go through in spite of their contributions to the national economic growth of Nigeria.

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