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Nigeria’s new government, which will be sworn in on 29 May, must ensure that Shell’s planned sale of its operations in the Niger Delta, does not lead to a further deterioration in human rights in a region blighted by decades of oil pollution.

Amnesty International has documented grievous and enduring human rights abuses resulting from oil contamination in the area, where Shell has operated since the 1950s. Amnesty International is concerned that the proposed sale will deny people already harmed access to adequate remedy, and potentially expose many more to future abuses.

A new report issued today, Tainted Sale?, recommends a series of safeguards and actions to help protect the rights of people potentially affected by Shell’s planned disposal of its onshore oil interests in the Niger Delta, reportedly for about US$3 billion.

Mark Dummett, Amnesty International’s Head of Business and Human Rights, said: “For decades spills have damaged the health and livelihoods of many of the Niger Delta’s inhabitants. Shell should not be allowed to wash its hands of the problems and leave. Shell has earned billions of dollars from this business and it must make sure that its withdrawal does not have negative human rights and environmental consequences.

“By exercising appropriate oversight of Shell’s sale, Nigeria’s incoming administration has a unique opportunity to demonstrate its determination to uphold and protect the human rights of its citizens, including their rights to an adequate standard of living, clean water, and health. We are also calling for effective remedy for people whose rights have long been abused.

“We urge the new government, under President Bola Tinubu, to ensure Shell’s sale does not end or limit the company’s liabilities. As a condition of sale, it should require Shell to provide a full assessment of all existing pollution in the delta, ensure it has provided satisfactory remediation for any damage, and that local inhabitants’ concerns about the sale process are fully appraised and addressed.

“The government should consider requiring Shell to act as a guarantor to ensure any purchaser is capable of making good and remediating damage caused by any future spills and that any buyer is committed to transparency, environmental compliance, consultations with communities, and limiting greenhouse gas emissions.

“Of course, rather than finding buyers and wringing the last drops of oil from a region so long blighted by the industry, the better option would be remedying the harms caused, and phasing out production.

“The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change forecasts that without accelerating the phasing out of fossil fuels worldwide, global temperatures will rise by more than an agreed limit of 1.5C versus pre-industrial levels. After decades of exploitation, retiring production in the Niger Delta would be a step in the right direction.”

A long record of environmental damage and abuses

For more than 20 years Amnesty International and partner organizations have conducted research in the Niger Delta. It has demonstrated that Shell’s operations have come at the cost of the human rights of people living there.

Hundreds of spills a year from poorly maintained pipelines and wells, along with inadequate clean-up practices, have led to widespread oil contamination, including of groundwater and drinking water sources, agricultural land and fisheries, and damaged the health and livelihoods of many inhabitants.

The impact of the pollution can be devastating. In 2019, an academic study, found that oil spills occurring within 10km of a mother’s place of residence in the Niger Delta doubled neonatal mortality rates and impaired the health of surviving children.

Mark Dummett said: “Shell must take its own steps to ensure effective remedy for people whose human rights have been impaired by this devastating pollution, and that its divestment plan does not worsen the plight of the Niger Delta’s inhabitants.”

“International standards, under the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, are clear that Shell has a responsibility to conduct a human rights due diligence process on its decision to transfer assets. This responsibility is independent of any steps Nigeria’s government will take.”

Shell disputes allegations that it has acted irresponsibly in the Niger Delta, and says it complies with regulations. It has previously pointed to improvements that it says it has made in recent years in response to preventing and cleaning oil spills, investments in infrastructure, oil anti-theft measures, and increased transparency in its reporting of spills.

Shell is not uniquely responsible for the devastating oil pollution that blights the Niger Delta. There are other actors, including the federal and state authorities. They too have an obligation to ensure that Shell’s divestment does not lead to further human rights harms.


The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited - Joint Venture (SPDC JV) is one of Nigeria’s largest oil producers.

Shell was the majority owner of this business for many years, but its main shareholder is now the state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, which holds 55%. The rest is owned by subsidiaries of international oil companies. Shell, through its wholly-owned subsidiary the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) Limited owns 30%, the French company Total has 10%, and the Italian company Eni 5%.

Importantly, through SPDC, Shell is the operator for the SPDC JV, which means it operates and maintains the wells, pipelines and other facilities needed to produce and transport the oil. The partners fund the operations and maintenance in proportion to their share in the joint venture.

During the past decade, the SPDC JV has sold much of its business, including oilfields, to several much smaller Nigerian-owned companies.

Shell now intends to sell both its stake in SPDC JV and its operating subsidiary in a deal involving its staff, facilities and infrastructure. This includes 263 producing oil wells, 56 producing gas wells and a network of 3,173km of pipelines.

Following an election on 25 February, the inauguration of Nigeria’s president-elect, Bola Tinubu, 71, of the ruling All Progressives Congress party, is due to take place on Monday. Amnesty International

REGULATION: Machakos Deputy Governor Francis Mwangangi addresses a faithful at African Inland Church Kithyoko Township n Masinga subcounty on Sunday, March 5, 2023. Image: FILE

The DG said Senators no longer defend and protect devolution.

In Summary
  • The DG said it was unfortunate that National Assembly has become the biggest threat to devolution.
  • He called for a review of the formula for sharing national revenue between the two levels of government saying counties are being disadvantaged.

Deputy Governor Francis Mwangangi has lashed out at Parliament for continuing to allocate more resources to ministries whose functions have been devolved. 

The deputy county boss regretted that members of parliament have failed in protecting and safeguarding the interests of county government through financial starvation.

"How can Parliament be allocating resources to ministries and departments yet those functions have been devolved," Mwangangi during a Thursday morning interview with K24 TV posed. 

The DG said it was unfortunate that the National Assembly, which processes money bills and the national budget, has become the biggest threat to devolution.

He also said the Senate, the principal defender of devolution under the constitution, is doing nothing to fight for resources for counties.

"It is even worrying that the defenders of devolution are not with county governments in pushing for resources to the devolved units,'' he said.

"So far I have not seen much to strengthen devolution by the current parliament.''

The deputy governor also called for a review of the formula for sharing national revenue between the two levels of government saying counties are being disadvantaged.

Mwangangi said while the government is using the current revenue collection for its budget projections, it is using the last audited accounts to allocate funds to counties.

"The counties will get Sh385 billion out of the proposed budget of Sh3.6 billion, which translates to about 9 per cent of the current revenue collected by the national government,'' he said. 

Mwangangi called for constitutional changes to make sure that the National Treasury is managed by elected leaders to ensure equity and fairness in resource disbursement.

"There is need to make changes to the constitution through a referendum so that the National Treasury is not in the hands of any particular government...instead we elect people to go there so that we can have fairness and development in every corner of this country," he said.

At the same time, the deputy government censured the government's approach in dealing with corruption and dishing out state appointments saying those from certain communities are being spared.

"Howe come that those related to those in power are being spared while others are being removed from office?" Mwangangi posed. By James Mbaka, The Star


  • Currently, Tanzania is pretty close to the target of 10 percent as envisioned in the Tanzania's Development Vision 2025 plan, with Minerals minister Doto Biteko saying the sector’s contribution to the GDP stood at 9.7 percent as of the third quarter of 2022.

Dar es Salaam. The government yesterday identified five measures it is taking to hit and even surpass the 10 percent target contribution to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) from the mining sector by 2025. 

The steps include inviting new investors, embracing public-private partnership, removal of nuisance taxes and charges, empowering small-scale miners and encouraging investment in value addition.

The revelation was made by Minerals minister Doto Biteko during a press conference ahead of the Tanzania Mining and Investment Forum 2023 slated for October 25 and 26 this year.

Currently, Tanzania is pretty close to the target of 10 percent as envisioned in the Tanzania's Development Vision 2025 plan, with Dr Biteko saying the sector’s contribution to the GDP stood at 9.7 percent as of the third quarter of 2022.

 When the implementation of the Development Vision kicked off in 2020, the mining sector's contribution to GDP was estimated at 3.5 percent.

“We have what it takes to achieve and even surpass the 10 percent target,” said Dr Biteko.

“We bank our hopes on improving the investment climate and embracing joint ventures with the world’s largest miners.

“It is on that backdrop, I urge local investors to use the upcoming Tanzania Mining and Investment Forum as a platform to forge partnerships with other investors from across the globe.”

The forum with a theme “Unlocking Tanzania’s Future Mining Potential”, is expected to bring together both local and foreign mining stakeholders to discuss cooperation strategies to unlock and advance opportunities for development in the sector. 

The event is expected to attract 2,000 attendees from over 25 countries globally.

“We need to foster Public-Private Partnerships if we are to bolster the sector’s contribution to the economy,” said Dr Biteko.

He went on to add: “I believe the event (Forum) will facilitate dialogue and collaboration between government representatives and private sector stakeholders, encouraging mutually beneficial partnerships to support the sector’s growth and development.”

Dr Biteko said the forum will highlight Tanzania’s rich mineral resources and provide an opportunity for local and international investors to discover the vast potential of mineral exploration projects and value addition in different types of mineral categories.

“The forum will set a stage for an unparalleled government-to-business and business-to-business opportunity for the extensive mine-to-market value chain,” said Dr Biteko.

The Tanzania Mining and Investment Forum is organised by DMG event’s organisers and Ocean Business Partners (OBP), in collaboration with the government through the Ministry of Minerals and key industry partners.

Speaking earlier, OPB director Abdulsamad Abdulrahim said the forum will provide a platform for participants to engage in meaningful discussions, share insights, and identify strategies for enhancing the sector’s contribution to the country’s economy and sustainable development. 

The forum, he added, will also showcase investment opportunities in the mining sector, offering a platform for investors to connect with mining companies, explore potential projects and facilitate investment deals.

“The Tanzania Mining and Investment Forum aims at showcasing the immense potential of Tanzania’s mining sector while promoting responsible and inclusive mining practices,” noted Mr Abdulrahim.

Tanzania is rich in critical mineral deposits, which are essential components in the manufacturing of electric vehicles, renewable energy infrastructure and other clean technologies.

The country is home to significant deposits of lithium, cobalt, nickel, and rare earth elements, the minerals which are in high demand as the world transitions to a low-carbon economy.

“Investors who are looking for opportunities in the green energy and transition minerals sector should take notice of Tanzania,” said Mr Abdulrahim.

 Adding: “The country's favorable investment climate, coupled with its abundance of natural resources, makes it an attractive destination for investment.”

DMG Events vice president (energy docket) Damian Howard said during the forum they will discuss the opportunity for Tanzania to harness and accelerate its position as East Africa’s mining hub to the world from its mining and exploration activities in support of the green transition. 

“Through panel discussions, workshops, and presentations, the forum will foster knowledge sharing and capacity building by bringing together industry experts, researchers, and policymakers to exchange insights, best practices, and innovations,” he said. By Alex Nelson Malanga, The Citizen

he Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum Davis Chirchir in a meeting with stakeholders on May 24, 2023. 

Energy and Petroleum Cabinet Secretary Davis Chirchir stated on Wednesday, May 24,  that Kenya did not make any money from oil exploration in South Lokichar, Turkana County.

Speaking before the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee, Chirchir stated that the exploration project was done to test the marketability of the product and allow the county government of Turkana to get the necessary experience and capacity.

 Further, he noted that the government owed International Exploration Companies (IOC)Ksh3 billion ($23.7 million) for the project.

“There were no excess funds to be shared in this early oil project scheme in line with the provisions of the Act. If anything, the IOC is owed USD23.7 million on account of the early oil project scheme.

“The crude oil sold from the South Lokichar Basin had been produced from exploration and appraisal activities. It was not commercial production,” Chirchir stated.

He explained that the project was still at an early exploration stage and therefore the cost incurred to start exploration was huge and profit could not be made immediately. 

“When you look at the cost of any business, you don’t expect to make profits in the first two to three years because those are the years of investments.

“The initial phase of the project was expensive because the objective was to ensure that there is a seamless process and a ready market for the oil,” the CS added.

The committee noted that since the exploration began four years earlier, the government had drilled 240,000 barrels of crude oil all sold to make Ksh3.7 billion, money that was paid back to investors. 

However, Chirchir added that there was still hope for Kenya to benefit from the project adding that it would benefit the country and the local communities as well.  

"Yes, there was hope and there’s still hope. I urge this House and Kenyans at large to quickly go out of our way to support this project and be conscious of the climate change issue. Investors are not putting their money where their policies on climate don’t agree with the developers of the climatic-challenged projects,” he added.

Earlier on Tuesday, May 23, China's largest producer of oil and petrochemical products sent representatives to Tullow Oil to express interest in the project

Oil exploration began in 2019 when the Kenyan government issued Tullow Oil with the license to produce 100,000 barrels daily.

Additionally, within the same year, former President Uhuru Kenyatta announced Kenya's entry into the oil export market, with the goal of capitalizing on and earning an average of Ksh1.2 billion from selling 22,000 barrels of crude oil.  By Joy Kwama,


The CS made the announcement during the Third Kenya International Investment Conference.

In Summary
  • The CS said the Chamber Bill will ensure every registered company in Kenya is a member of the Chamber.
  • “We are working on the National Chamber Bill which has to go to Cabinet within the next 30 days,” he said. 

Trade Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria has said the government is working on a law to make it mandatory for all businesses to be members of KNCCI.

The CS made the announcement during the Third Kenya International Investment Conference.

Kuria said the move will strengthen the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry and will be submitted to Cabinet for approval within 30 days.

“We are working on the National Chamber Bill which has to go to Cabinet within the next 30 days. We are going to have the Kenya Chamber that is truly reflective of Kenyan businesses,” he said. 

To join the Chamber, this means, small business owners will have to cough up to Sh5000 annual fees, while group businesses will pay Sh15,000. This is lower than the partnership fee which is Sh10,000. 

Small and medium enterprises are required to pay Sh15,000, local public companies lawfully pay Sh50,000 and the corporate membership fee is Sh100,000 annually.

The CS said the Chamber Bill will be mandatory for every registered company in Kenya to be a member of the Chamber.

"It is going to be mandatory, it won't be a choice," he said.  

He noted that the business will have to pay for the subscriptions in order for the businesses to be organised. 

"These businesses must speak for Kenya, and earn us the respect we deserve," he said. By Manny Anyango, The Star

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