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    Saturday, February 24, 2024

    Niger Delta Communities Threaten to Sue Shell Over $2.4bn Assets Sale

    Port Harcourt-Oil-producing communities in Niger Delta have threatened to sue Shell Petroleum Development Commission, SPDC, if it insists on selling off its $2.4 billion offshore assets without meeting the basic demands of the Niger Delta people.

    The mineral-bearing communities said it would not hesitate to drag the oil company to court if it fails to respond to the yearnings of the people as contained in the United Nations Environmental Programme, UNEP, report and the agreement with the Federal Government.

    In a letter addressed to the Managing Director of SPDC on January 24, 2024, by its solicitor, Emiko & Associates, the oil communities said SPDC must give the indigenes and indigenous contractors from the region the right of first refusal to buy its assets and facilities.

    It said: “We are solicitors to Mr. Joseph Ambakaderemo, Mr. Augustine Iyamu and Rev. Diamond Emuobor, registered trustees of the Community Development Committees of Oil and Gas Producing Areas of Niger Delta, CDCOGPAND, hereinafter, referred to as our clients.

    “It came to our clients’ notice that your company has made arrangements to sell off its crude oil drilling business and facilities onshore, and in shallow waters, but currently awaits the approval of the Federal Government.

    “We are informed by our clients that owing to the notoriety of the socio-economic damage occasioned by your exploration and related activities in several communities and the people of Niger-Delta where you operate and their call for you to abate same, the United Nations and the Federal Government of Nigeria mandated you to clean up these communities and compensate the indigenes and occupants thereto.

    “We are further informed by our clients that while they await the execution of the above directive, unknown to them, you were negotiating the sale of your drilling business and facilities.”

    The group, however, demand the “immediate clean-up of all communities affected by oil spill from your drilling facilities and pipelines across the Niger Delta or evidence of the inclusion of the said clean-up as a liability acquired by your proposed successors in your terms of the sale.

    “Financial reparation for the indigenes, occupants and local business owners within the Niger Delta areas where you explore crude oil.

    “Right of first refusal by the Niger Delta states, indigenes and indigenous companies of the areas of your operations of the acquisition of your drilling business, facilities, properties and related assets.”

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