sharing in governance of extractive industries

Shell admits responsibility for oil spill in the Ogoniland region.

Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd (SPDC) has accepted responsibility for the oil spill in the Ogoniland of Nigeria. The Ogoniland, the region which produces Nigeria's oil, has rather become an eye sore to Nigeria as a result of the inherent environmental degradation.


While admitting the oil spill will surely lead to several court cases, I am a bit concerned of what would happen when the dust settles. Say Shell decides to settle the community, would settlement include cleaning the environment? Would the settlement be in form of money paid out to people in the community or would it be like the Pfizer case where the government, known for its penchant for everything corruption, pocketed part of the money allegedly paid by Pfizer?


Since the court cases brought against Shell are from communities rather than from the Nigerian government (State and Federal) what do you think should be the role of the government in all of this?


See bbc link to main story: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-14391015


See article by Tom O'Neill - Nigeria Oil: Curse of the Black Gold - Hope and Betrayal on the Niger Delta: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2007/02/nigerian-oil/oneill-text



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Comment by Bwesigye Don Binyina on August 4, 2011 at 21:47

Emeka as an ardent follower of the Ogoni Community -Vs- Shell BP Case. I welcome the victory of the Ogoni people and hasten to state that, this triumph is for the people of Nigeria adversely affected by the oil spills,environmental degration and right to life as duly articulated the initial judgement of court. It should also be noted that in Public/ Class Interest Actions aare between communities against government or monolithic International Companies such as as Shell in this case. There is no way government can withhold or partake of these awards.


Important to note about this locus classicus case is that it sets a precedent in the exploitation of natural resources by large corporations like Shell and in Uganda welcome this acknowledgment of liability by Shell BP. Uganda,CNOOC, Total and Tullow are duly put on notice!


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