• Wednesday, 6th October 2010

    Theme: Environment responsibilities of resource companies under host country and home country laws -the growing demand for extraterritorial liability - case studies and options for reform. All protocols duly observed.

    Colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen I am humbled by this great privilege afforded me by the organisers of this session of the 2010 Annual Conference of the International Bar Association – the global voice of the legal profession.I neither claim holistic nor monopolistic knowledge of the issue I am called upon to discuss thus what I will do here is to tease out some of the issues of critical concern to vast majority of deprived local community peoples of Nigeria who bear the brunt of the impact of foreign resource corporations,

  • Saturday, 18th July 2009

    The Environmental Rights Action/ Friends of the Earth Nigeria at its Annual General Meeting held in Oghara, Delta State 14-17 July 2009 reviewed recent events in the country, among other matters.

    The meeting was attended by ERA/FoEN Board, Management, Staff, community campaigners and volunteers and concluded that the nation appears to be on a steady slide to systemic anomie reinforcing the need for urgent political actions including dialogue, negotiations and a Sovereign National Conference (SNC).

    The Issues
    The bombing of Atlas Cove in Lagos, six hundred kilometres away from the boiling creeks of the Niger Delta, opens a new chapter in our festering national crises. Although in nowhere has this political and governance crises been most dramatically manifested as in today’s Niger Delta, the attack on the oil loading depot clearly represents the urbanisation of the region’s historic grievances.

    The rumblings will echo for many years and its aftermath is unpredictable. This is the time for calm, deliberate, courageous and patriotic political counter action that should lead to an immediate stoppage of violence on all sides. This is the time for healing and no more killing. It is a moment in our history when the threat to our national cohesion and stability should not be misread by orchestrated exigency of we-know-it-all. It is dangerous to do so. As attractive and seductive as it is to dismiss the attack on the Cove as another "militant" or "criminal" strike, that action goes beyond commercial criminality and armed militancy.

  • Friday, 30th January 2009

    Let’s leave the oil under the Ground - An ERA brief by Nnimmo BASSEY

    As the Niger Delta boils and as Nigeria looks towards a bleak future with diminished oil revenues, the oil corporations operating in Nigeria continue to garner obscene profits. This happens because the corporations are not paying for environmental costs of their operations and because ecological debts go unattended to. Local communities have shouldered the burdens while the corporations laugh all the way to the banks secured by their opaque Joint Venture agreements.

    The trend of profits made by oil companies over the past couple of years are very telling. These companies reap profits in the face of whatever woes the world is confronted with.
    In 2007 Shell's net profit rose to $11.56 billion from $8.67 billion a year earlier.  According to reports, Exxon, the world’s largest privately held oil company, reported a 14% rise in income to a record $11.68 billion, which was adjudged to be the largest ever for a US corporation. In the first quarter of 2008, Exxon made nearly $90,000 profit a minute!
    Today, we expect Shell to declare another big profit underscoring the fact that the Niger Delta environment is still not receiving the attention it deserves. Spills remain unattended to at Ikarama in Bayelsa State, Ikot Ada Udoh in Akwa Ibom State, Uzere and Iwerekhan in Delta State. Today we demand that they use their “profit” to clean up their mess in the Niger Delta.

    Read the full article (Acrobat Reader required)

  • Thursday, 26th June 2008

    Climate Change is accepted today even by die hard sceptics as a real crisis that must be urgently tackled for the preservation of the earth in a form that would sustain human and other life forms. The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is the best known body of climate scientists who accepts that most of the observed warming of the last 50 years is likely due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations due to human activities...

    ...One of the key failures of the Kyoto protocol is that it did not unambiguously pin the blame for the problem on hydrocarbons. As long as this was the case, the frameworks for handling the problem were fundamentally flawed. Conventional wisdom instructs us to tackle the root causes of problems rather than the symptoms if we wish to radically pursue long lasting solutions. 

    (Excerpts from a paper presented by Nnimmo Bassey at a recent Media Training Workshop in Benin.) 

    Click here to read/download the full article  

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