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Divestment: Obtain Court Injunction To Halt Sale Of Assets Rivers Women Tell Fubara

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Divestment: Obtain Court Injunction To Halt Sale Of Assets Rivers Women Tell Fubara

Community-based women’s organizations have called on the Rivers State Governor, Siminalayi Fubara to wade into the issue of the proposed divestment of oil majors in the state and obtain a court injunction to halt the sale of any assets belonging to the multinational firms in the state.

The women, during a media briefing spearheaded by Kebetkache Women Development & Resource Centre in Port Harcourt at the Weekend, also urged President Bola Tinubu not to allow the planned sale of onshore oil and gas assets of Shell Petroleum Development Company, and other International Oil Companies, IOCs, without them restoring the country’s ecosystem, especially in the Niger Delta region.

Executive Director of the Kebetkache Women Development & Resource Centre Dr Emem Okon, represented by a Board member of the organisation, Constance Meju made the call on behalf of 10 others who rejected the divestment by the IOC, while expressing dismay at the announcement by Shell to sell off their on-shore assets to investors without conducting necessary consultations with communities that have endured decades of environmental destruction from their operations.

The women also decried that, in the Niger Delta, women bear the brunt of oil exploitation, facing deprivations due to environmental degradation, arguing that they play vital roles in securing the family’s subsistence income through agricultural activities, processing farm produce, and engaging in trade and their

They said the ecological degradation caused by oil extraction forces women to navigate polluted swamps for their economic activities, leading to a decline in crop yields and increased poverty

They, however, urged both the state and the federal governments to mandate companies divesting their assets to commit to cleaning all polluted sites in the Niger Delta caused by their exploration activities and restore lost livelihood opportunities before any move.

They insisted that government must mandate companies divesting their oil assets to commit to cleaning all polluted sites in the Niger Delta and restoring lost livelihood opportunities.

The statement reads: “It has come to our attention that plans are ongoing by Shell PLC to sell their shares in Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) to a consortium of investors, Renaissance Africa Energy. OML 34 had already been divested to ND Western; OML 17 and OML 29 have been divested without proper guidelines.

“Additionally, Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC), Exxon Mobil Nigeria Limited, and Total Energies Nigeria Limited are poised to divest all their onshore assets without engaging host communities and rectifying the damages to the environment and people’s well-being. They are attempting to evade responsibility!

“As affected women in the Niger Delta, we are deeply concerned about the swift nature of these divestment plans, as the government has not provided guidelines to ensure the resolution of pollution issues before SPDC, AGIP, and Total Energies depart. The corporations involved have failed to establish women’s development funds to support those who have borne the consequences of their oil extraction activities.”

“We, the women, are in the dark regarding the reputations of the new companies acquiring the assets of Shell, AGIP, and Exxon Mobil. We implore the government, whom we hold in high esteem, not to approve the divestment plans until polluted farmlands are cleaned up and restored by these companies,” said

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