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Shell Offered Two “Shocking” Reasons For Not Cleaning Up Oil Spills 

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The king of Ogale, Chief Emere Godwin Bebe Okpabi, cut an interesting figure and made global news when he travelled from Nigeria to attend a hearing in a suit instigated by over 40,000 inhabitants of Ogale and Bille communities of the Niger Delta. In his golden finery and jewels, he was a stark contrast to the suits of the assembled lawyers and journalists.

The reason for his presence in the UK court though was far more important than the outfit he was putting on. The inhabitants had gone to the UK to seek a ruling impelling Shell to clean up the oil spills from their pipelines that had polluted drinking water and destroyed the livelihood of several of the community members.

In response, however, Shell is asking the court to throw the case out for reason that actually do not add up. For one, Shell does not deny the areas are heavily polluted. What the company is denying is its responsibility to clean the mess, Joe Westby says on AllAfrica.

One of the company’s most striking claims is that the case should not go ahead because it will conflict with a newly-announced government-led program to clean up pollution in the region. This project was flagged off 5 years after the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) carried out an assessment which exposed massive and widespread pollution across the Ogoniland region of the Niger Delta.

The project, however, does not absolve the company from its responsibility to clean up pollution its pipelines have caused in the region. And since the case alleges that Shell has failed to do so in Ogale and Bille, it deserves to be heard. That the FG has taken steps to initiate what the company should have done initially is not an excuse for it to sit back and watch.

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Shell’s second argument that the situation in the Niger Delta is “uniquely challenging”, due to problems of militancy, oil theft and the illegal refining of oil is also baffling. One would think that it is quite clear that these problems highlighted have been exacerbated by the inability of the inhabitants of polluted communities to make a living the way they know how. Many of them are fishermen and farmers. How can tey fish or farm in oil polluted waters and seas. But they must feed and take care of their families. What else does Shell expect them to do?

It is hoped that the courts will take a serious stance for the cleanup in this case. The outcome will be very important in determining how oil companies and communities will proceed. A soft approach will likely serve as a template for oil companies to shelf their responsibilities to communities while the reverse will be the case if the court takes a tough stance in this case. We are waiting to see which way the pendulum will swing.

Chacha Wabara-Ogbobine is a Legal practitioner with over 9years post call experience. A research Consultant, professional writer and a blogger at heart,owner of four thriving websites with well over 10years of experience. Totally in love with keeping fit and coaching weight loss enthusiasts. I love my quiet time, being with my kids, watching TV series for hours on end.

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Just in: NUPENG calls off strike for petroleum tanker drivers in Lagos State

The disclosure was made in a series of tweet posts by the SSA to the Lagos State Governor.

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The National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), has called off the strike action of the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) in Lagos State which started earlier today.

This is contained in the communique which was signed by the Lagos State Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Olateru Odusote and the Deputy National President of NUPENG, Solomon Kilanko, on Monday, August 10, 2020.

The disclosure was made in a series of tweet posts by the Senior Special Assistant to the Lagos State Governor on New Media, Jubril Gawat, through his official twitter handle.

Jubril disclosed that the state will set up a standing committee to discuss with the union on an ongoing basis to resolve the various issues as they arise. The state government will also review the timing restriction on movement of petroleum tankers within the next week.

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Details later…

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FMDQ says newly signed CAMA bill will make Nigeria a powerful destination of capital

The new Bill introduces some corporate legal innovations aimed at boosting the ease of doing business.

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AFEX to partner with FMDQ and Dubai Commodities Exchange

FMDQ Securities Exchange has revealed that the new Companies and Allied Matters Bill 2020, that was recently signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari, would reposition Nigeria as a powerful destination of capital.

The newly signed Companies and Allied Matters Act. 2020 bill, repeals and replaces the extant Companies and Allied Matters Act, 1990.

While making the disclosure in Lagos on Monday, August 10, 2020, the Group Chief Executive Officer of FMDQ, Bola Onadele, said the country’s financial market and the economy as a whole would receive the long-awaited boost to encourage economic development with the new CAMA.

READ MORE: President Buhari signs amended Companies Allied Matters bill

The new Bill introduces some corporate legal innovations aimed at boosting the ease of doing business in the country. Some of such innovation are reduction in filing fee and other reforms to encourage small and medium enterprises, provisions for the establishment of private companies with a single shareholder and limited liability partnerships and limited partnerships, among others.

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According to a report from News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), FMDQ’s Onadele pointed out that the implementation of the new CAMA, would lead to a new wave of innovative developments in the Nigerian financial market and as well as improve the ease of doing business in the country.

Onadele said, ‘’With the increasing sophistication of the global financial markets comes the need for domestic markets to develop their architecture and infrastructures to support requisite advancement as well as align with international standards, and the new CAMA 2020 will position Nigeria and its capital market at par with its international counterparts.’’

“Chief of the several impactful provisions in the CAMA 2020, is the inclusion of netting and bankruptcy remoteness provisions which signal the birth of a new financial market in Nigeria.’’

“The CAMA 2020 commendably sets the tone for the actualisation of key innovations in the market, providing enabling legal backing for netting, bankruptcy remoteness and attendant regulatory frameworks for the smooth functioning of financial markets in Nigeria,” he said.

Going further, he said noted that these game-changing provisions would provide the remedy to critical legal deficiencies that were affecting the development of the financial markets.

Onadele disclosed that the netting provisions in the CAMA would address the credit risk challenges, operational and legal bottlenecks of gross settlement for spot and derivatives transactions.

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He said the derivatives market would enhance market liquidity, improve price discovery, reduce risk capital charges and transaction costs as well as increase financial markets stability.

READ: It costs more to ship through Apapa port than Ghana’s Tema port, others –SBM

Nairametrics had 3 days ago reported that President Muhammadu Buhari signed the new Company and Allied Matters Bill 2020, which was recently passed by the National Assembly. The newly signed bill replaces the extant Companies and Allied Matters Act, 1990 and introduced several corporate legal innovations geared toward enhancing the ease of doing business in the country.

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Nigeria to begin gold production in 2021 with the Segilola Gold Project

The gold produced is expected to become a part of Nigeria’s external reserve.

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Nigeria to begin gold production in 2021 with the Segilola Gold Project, Nigeria to save $300 million from importation of barite 

Nigeria is set to commence gold production in 2021 after the launch of the Segilola Gold Project in Osun state. This was disclosed by the Honourable Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, while taking stock of his first year in office as Minister.

In a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media, Ayodeji Adeyemi, Adegbite said that the project is expected to create about direct 400 direct jobs and 1000 indirect jobs along the gold value chain.

READ ALSO: Why Ajaokuta Cannot Make Steel

He added that once the project takes off, Nigeria would become a major gold producing country, a move that would hasten the diversification of the economy and reduce unemployment among the youth populace.

He noted that the government was creating an enabling environment across the gold value chain. According to him, “the international roadshows we have had in the past have borne fruits. Today we have Thor exploration in Osun State through the Segilola Gold project, which is projected to start producing in the first half of next year.”

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The minister also noted that the government has licenced two gold refineries to refine gold to the London Bullion Market Association, LBMA, standard.

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About the Ajaokuta Steel Plant, Adegbite explained that the global travel restriction caused by the pandemic had prevented the technical experts from Russia from coming over to the plant to conduct an audit of the steel plant. He assured that this would be done as soon as the flight restriction was over, and there are hopes to revive the plant before the expiration of President Buhari’s tenure.

Why it matters

The take-off of gold production in Nigeria is expected to open up an industry centred around gold production, from equipment leasing and repairs, logistic and transport. Note that gold requires a specialized means of transport, security, insurance, aggregators among others. These, according to Adegbite, would ultimately create tens of thousands of jobs across the gold value chain.

READ ALSO: Mambilla Plant: FG disburses N700 million for power project

The minister further stated that Nigeria has mined, processed, and refined gold under the Presidential Artisanal Gold Mining Development Initiative, PAGMI. The first batch of PAGMI gold was unveiled at a presentation ceremony to President Buhari on July 16, 2020.

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The gold produced is expected to become a part of Nigeria’s external reserve after being purchased by the Central Bank.

“PAGMI will result in the creation of thousands of new mining and formalized jobs, leading to poverty alleviation for many households. Under the scheme, artisanal and small scale gold miners will earn more from higher productivity, better recovery rates through mechanization of operations, and better access to reliable geological information,” he said.

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