Magazine article New African

Niger Delta Making Shell Responsible: Raymond Eyo Wants President Goodluck Jonathan (Pictured) to Be More Alive to His Responsibilities by Pushing Shell to Do the Decent Thing in the Niger Delta: Clean Up the Oil Mess

Magazine article New African

Niger Delta Making Shell Responsible: Raymond Eyo Wants President Goodluck Jonathan (Pictured) to Be More Alive to His Responsibilities by Pushing Shell to Do the Decent Thing in the Niger Delta: Clean Up the Oil Mess

Article excerpt

PRESIDENT GOODLUCK JONATHAN'S very poor, almost negligent response to the recently published damning UNEP report on the massive Shell oil spills in Ogoniland, (which was the basis of NA'S cover story in January) as well as his handling of the very recent Shell spills in Bonga validate my long-held opinion that Nigeria needs a leader who can confront the West in the face of bad deals, especially with oil majors.

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If President Jonathan can show just a pinch of the passion he showed in opposing Cote d'Ivoire's Laurent Gbagbo or better still, in his obviously mistaken removal of fuel subsidy in January this year which attracted widespread popular opposition, he would go a long way to beating the hell out of Shell and finding a sustainable solution to the problem.

As the NA January cover story explains, a "demonstrable political will on the part of the federal government to force the hand of Shell and other oil companies operating in the region to change their ways, is vital.

Such political will involves decisively combating corruption, which is majorly responsible for the lack of proper government oversight on the oil companies.

Jonathan needs to prosecute such cases, else he would lend credence to the Wikileaks disclosure that Shell has influential elements in the government safeguarding its interests.

For her relative inactivity in Pursuing the much-needed Petroleum Industry Bill (P113) and the very fact of her being a former Shell executive, Nigeria's oil minister, Diezani Allison-Madueke, appears sadly to be an oil executive, and her passionate support for the unpopular removal of the petrol subsidy has only fuelled this suspicion more.

Jonathan should muster the resolve shown by the authorities in Brazil, who fined oil giant Chevron upwards of $28rn (a further amount has not yet been confirmed) for an oil spill off the Rio de Janeiro coast in November 2011; which a Brazilian government official said could complicate Chevron's hopes of gaining access to new offshore exploration. …

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