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Proposed Sales Of Shell’s Assets:Environment Rights Organistion Wants Govt, CSOs Monitor Process

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Joseph Kanjo, Benin

The Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) has called on the Nigerian government to keenly monitor the proposed sales of assets in the Niger Delta region by Shell so as to ensure the process is open, transparent and inclusive to enable communities with ongoing litigations and others with verifiable claims against Shell to participate and monitor the process.

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The environment rights organisation also called on civil society organistions, CSOs, and local communities to immediately put in place negotiating teams that will participate in any discussions and decision on the sales of “Shell’s environmentally destructive assets.”

A statement jointly signed by Dr. Godwin Uyi Ojo, Executive Director and Mike Karikpo, Programmes Director, (ERA/FoEN) respectfully, which was made available to INFO DAILY, Monday, by Public Relations Officer of the organistion said this will ensure the billions of dollars that would accrue from the sale would be utilized for the remediation, compensation and restoration of the environment.

According to the statement, participation of concerned stakeholders becomes more relevant in this “decade of Ecosystem Restoration declared by the United Nations 2021-2030,” adding “as oil fades away as the energy source of choice across the world, it is imperative that all oil impacted ecosystems across the country should be cleaned and restored as much as possible to the state they were before the commencement of oil mining activities. Anything short of this, is unacceptable.”

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READ ALSO: N81.9bn Compensation: ERA/FoEN Wants ExxonMobil To Obey Court Judgement

While strongly condemning Shell’s plans to sell its land based and shallow offshore oil fields and infrastructures in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria, the statement said the company is running away from accountability for its “ruinous actions in the Niger Delta region and amounts to eating your cake and having it.”

“In its characteristic nature, Shell having almost drained the region dry of oil and gas resources and engaged in ecocide because of its reckless and unconscionable operations in the region now seeks to walk away from its crime scene with billions of dollars in its kitty.

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“Shell recently sold OML 17 to HEIRS Holding in a deal worth well over half a billion dollars and absolutely nothing was set aside for the remediation and restoration of the damaged ecosystem of communities around this area.

“Shell owes the environment and the people of the Niger Delta region a huge ecological debt for its reckless operations in the region over the last seven decades,” the statement reads.

READ ALSO: World Environment Day: Protect Our Ecosystem From Extinction – ERA/FoEN

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The statement which quoted a community leader in the Niger Delta region, Eraks Kobah, who commented on activities of Shell said, “Shell as a criminal enterprise that is only interested in maximizing profit.”

The statement said Kobah stated further that his community has been in court with Shell for decades over the major oil blowout and destruction of the environment and the community’s sources of livelihood around the Bomu manifold in Kdere in the Ogoni area of Nigeria.

The statement which further stated that Shell has a history of disdain for local communities and disrespect of Nigeria’s justice system, cited the repeated refusal of Shell to pay the N17 billion compensation awarded by a Nigerian court to the Ejama-Ebubu community in Eleme local government area of Rivers state for oil spills that devastated their land in 2010.

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“This spill occurred during the Nigerian civil war 1967-1970 and Shell has refused to undertake proper cleanup of the spill area or pay the compensation set by the court.

“In November 2020 Shell lost an attempt to extricate itself from responsibility for the spill and the compensation cost awarded against it.

READ ALSO: Ogoni Cleanup: Establish Centre Of Excellence, ERA/FoEN Urges Newly Appointed HYPREP Governing Council

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“The Nigerian supreme court rejected Shell’s bid to set aside the 2010 compensation award, with accruing interest the compensation claim now stands at a healthy N180 billion,” it added.

ERA/FoEN therefore called on the Nigerian state to protect local communities’ interest within the “divestment process of oil and gas multinational companies operating in the Niger Delta region and halt Shell’s attempt to run away from its mess without proper clean up of the Niger Delta.”

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Russia Expelled From Council Of Europe Amid War With Ukraine

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The Council of Europe says it has expelled Russia with immediate effect after 26 years of membership because of the Ukraine war.

The Committee of Ministers took the decision in a special session, the rights body announced in the French city of Strasbourg on Wednesday.

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Earlier, Russia had already declared its withdrawal from the Council of Europe after it had taken steps to exclude it.

On Tuesday evening, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe voted unanimously in favour of Russia’s exclusion.

Russia joined the Council of Europe on Feb. 28, 1996.

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Together with the formal notification of the withdrawal, the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe also received information from the Russian Federation on Tuesday about its intention to denounce the European Convention on Human Rights.

In a statement on Tuesday evening, the leaders of the Council of Europe once again condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

READ ALSO: Ukraine: Horror As Russian Forces Shoot People Queuing For Bread

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They expressed their solidarity with the Russian people, who continue to belong to the European family and share its values.

The body said it would continue to stand by Ukraine in the fight against the aggressor.

The Council of Europe monitors the observance of human rights in its 46 member states and is not part of the European Union.

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The body reacted to the Russian invasion of Ukraine two weeks ago by suspending Russia’s membership, this decision was considered historic.

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National Grid Collapse: Pastor Tunde Bakare, Wike, Obaseki Under ‘Attack’

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Deji Adeyanju, an Abuja-based rights activist, on Tuesday, criticized Pastor Tunde Bakare, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State over the collapse of the national grid.

Adeyanju said Bakare, Wike, and Obaseki should be calling out the President Muhammdu Buhari-led Federal Government over the collapse of the national grid and not be silent or fighting themselves.

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He lamented that Buhari and his wife Aisha are out of the country while everything in the country is collapsing.

In a chat with DAILY POST, Adeyanju lamented that Nigeria is currently battling with fuel scarcity, electricity, lack of diesel, while the president and his wife are both out of the country.

According to Adeyanju: “National grid has collapsed. All 19 power plants built by corrupt PDP are now generating zero power.

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“Fuel & diesel have become gold. The CHANGE Govt 7yrs later has nothing to offer except more corruption and failure. Everything has collapsed including the economy and governance.

READ ALSO: Edo PDP Crisis: ‘We’ll Capitalize On It To Take Over Power’ – APC

“Just imagine despite all that Nigerians are currently going through -no fuel, diesel, no light, insecurity everywhere; that GEJ is in a London hospital chilling and Dame is in Dubai like Aisha Buhari living her best life.

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“By now, Pastor Tunde Bakare & the then opposition would have shutdown Nigeria but useless PDP is sleeping. Wike and Obaseki are only interested in fighting.”

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NYSC Trust Fund To Lift Nigerians Out Of Poverty – DG

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The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), says the proposed trust fund would help actualise President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s vision to lift millions of Nigerians out of poverty.

NYSC’s Director-General, Maj.-Gen. Shuaibu Ibrahim, stated this at the closing ceremony of the 2022 Batch “A” Stream 1 Orientation Course, on Tuesday in Ganjuwa Local Government Area of Bauchi State.

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Ibrahim, represented by Alhaji Namadi Abubakar, NYSC Coordinator in the state, said this would be made possible as soon as the trust fund become operational.

The NYSC boss added that as soon as the Trust Fund became operational, the quality of the scheme’s Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) programme would further be enhanced.

This, he said, would be achieved through the provision of adequate training materials and engagement of more specialist trainers.

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“It may interest you to know that the desire to make the SAED programme more impactful, partly informed our advocacy for the establishment of the National Youth Service Corps Trust Fund.

“All trainees with bankable business proposals will be supported with start-up grants.

“You will in turn, be expected to step down vocational training or employ a good number of youths of your host community.

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READ ALSO: Emulate Aisha Buhari’s Humanitarian Gesture, NYSC DG Urges Nigerians

“That way, we will be pulling millions of Nigerians out of poverty, thereby stemming the tide of youth restiveness and tendency for criminality,” he said.

Ibrahim lauded the National Assembly for the progress made on the legislative processes on the bill for the establishment of the trust fund.

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“I wish to passionately appeal to the appropriate authorities to facilitate the success of the remaining processes that will bring the trust fund to fruition.”

The NYSC boss urged the corps members to integrate into their host communities, through learning of their languages and cultures.

He also advised them to devote time to identify the needs of their host communities as well as initiate personal and group community development projects that would uplift their standard of living.

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