Officials of Royal Dutch Shell’s Nigerian subsidiary have been accused of allegedly masterminding the damage to oil pipelines so as to benefit from the money spent on repairs and clean-up operations.
According to a report from Reuters, this disclosure is contained in a report from a Dutch investigative TV programme, Zembla, on Thursday, December 9, 2020.
The report, while citing research by Dutch environmental group Milleudefensie, specifically revealed that employees of Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) recruited local youth to destroy the pipelines and then went to hire them back as workers to clean up the oil spillage.
However, Shell in its reaction, said it investigates all credible reports of misconduct and takes action where needed.
Shell’s Dutch head office stated, “As of now, we are not aware of any staff or contractor having been involved in acts causing oil spills in the Niger Delta.’’
The Dutch TV investigative programme also alleged that this was brought to the notice of officials of Shell and the Dutch ambassador to Nigeria by local leaders in 2018, they refused to act on those warnings.
Milieudefensie, in a statement on Thursday, disclosed that the focus of its research was on the village of Ikarama, where it said had experienced about 30 oil spills in the last 13 years.
It said, “The majority of the leaks in Ikarama were the result of instructions given by Shell Nigeria employees.’’
While citing statements made to the police and Nigeria’s Ikarama Youth Council by witnesses and other participants, Zembia pointed out that the profit made on the cleaning operations was shared between SPDC employees and the youths.
What you should know
- Shell Petroleum Development Company has been subject of various accusations of negligence that has caused oil spillages from their facilities by host communities in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.
- This has led to various lawsuits instituted against Shell for various degrees of pollution and devastation of the environment with loss of means of livelihood for the community.