Home Oil and Gas Tinubu’s govt hires Shell’s consultants to supervise sale of Shell’s assets in Nigeria, Amnesty International raises alarm

Tinubu’s govt hires Shell’s consultants to supervise sale of Shell’s assets in Nigeria, Amnesty International raises alarm

by Business News Report

Amnesty International has raised the alarm concerning President Bola Tinubu’s administration hiring Shell consultants, Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and S&P Global to monitor the sale of Shell onshore assets in Nigeria to the Renaissance consortium. After Shell announced in January that it was selling off its assets for about $2.4 billion, the Tinubu government assigned BCG and S&P Global to oversee the transaction and guarantee Nigeria’s interests were protected. But Isa Sanusi, country director for Amnesty International, said it did not bode well that the two companies, which had previously been on Shell’s payroll for providing specific services, were now being hired to assess the sale of their assets, implicitly suggesting that they might not be able to independently do the job and report findings from communities affected by oil spillage given their ties to the oil company.“The decision by the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission to hire BCG, which already performs a wide variety of other work for Shell, to help assess this sale is concerning,” Mr Sanusi said in a statement on Friday. The rights organisation leader in Nigeria added, “

It is similarly worrying that S&P Global, which also plays a key role in rating Shell’s debt and creditworthiness as well as providing other services to the oil company, is also involved.” According to Mr Sanusi, any promise made by the two companies to carry out an impartial assessment of the sale should only be regarded with a grain of salt because it is unlikely that they will address the violations of human rights experienced by the residents of the riverine communities impacted by the oil spillage as a result of Shell’s operations, let alone offer remedies.“

Any assurances from these consultancy groups that their reviews will be divorced from their wider commercial interests with Shell are unlikely to allay worries that they could soft pedal on the remedies required to address the human rights abuses related to Shell’s activities,” Mr Sanusi explained. Amnesty International stressed that the enormity of human rights abuses allegedly committed by Shell was too grievous to overlook by handing the sale of their assets to consultancy groups who have benefited from them and noted it was bad for optics. “Given the enormous human rights risks at stake it is essential that reviews of the sale are not just independent—but seen to be independent,” Mr Sanusi stressed. He added that Shell must be held accountable for the oil spillage that for decades “polluted the environment, contaminated drinking water and poisoned agricultural land, fisheries and people.”

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