Jul 07, 2008

Ogoniland: We’ve not been asked to leave - Shell

Sample ImageContrary to earlier promises of Shell’s impending exit from Ogoniland, Shell officials have allegedly not been officially asked to leave.

Below is an article published by the Nigerian Tribune:

The Anglo-Dutch oil giant, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), whose activities in Ogoniland in Rivers State have been in abeyance for the past 15 years, thus prompting the Federal Government to announce early June this year, its impending exit from Ogoni, said it was yet to be formally notified of government’s decision to send it packing from the area.  Disclosing this to journalists in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, over the weekend at a dinner party organised by the company for media executives in the Niger Delta region, SPDC Managing Director, Mr. Mutiu Sunmonu said the Federal Government is yet to inform Shell of its decision and modalities for the company’s disengagement from Ogoniland, where he said, Shell has 30 percent of equity in the oil blocs there.

Special Adviser to President Umaru Yar’Adua on Communication, Mr. Olusegun Adeniyi, had issued a statement quoting the president while addressing Nigerians in South Africa on June 3 this year as saying that “it was clear that there is a total loss of confidence between Shell and the Ogoni people and so, another operator acceptable to the Ogonis will take over, as nobody is gaining from the conflict and stalemate; so, this is the best solution”.

But, Mr. Sunmonu said, “I have read in the newspapers that President Umaru Yar’Adua said we will leave Ogoniland and possibly allow the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) or another oil company to operate in Ogoni; but, I still consider Mr. President’s statement as a ‘headline statement’ since we are yet to get official notification of our exit from Ogoniland from the relevant quarters”.