The Environmental Rights Action and Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) has alleged that the divestment agenda of international oil companies (IOCs) in the Niger Delta region of the country is deceitful, and attempts to leave the communities in worse conditions.
This was disclosed by Barr Chima Williams, the Executive Director of ERA/FoEN, when speaking during a webinar on ‘International Oil Companies’ Divestment Campaign in Africa’.
The webinar is organized by ERA/FoEN and Africa Climate Justice Collectives (ACJC), as part of the event to mark the African Peoples Counter COP (APCC).
Barr Chima Williams explained that IOCs that are withdrawing their investments in Bayelsa, Edo, Delta and Akwa Ibom States hold the responsibility to repair the damages that they have caused, before leaving the communities.
“There is a need to unmask the real motives behind IOC divestment in the Niger Delta and for oil-bearing communities that are on the frontlines of extractive impacts to hold them liable for their harms on their environment, livelihoods, and other quantifiable and unquantifiable impacts,” Williams added.
He also explained that ERA/FoEN is working with other CSO groups and media to “synergize our campaign and our works, and to expose the deceit that the IOC divestments represent.”
Also speaking at the webinar, Ubrei Joe, Programme Manager, FoEN said that it is important that there are relevant policies in place to halt the divestment processes in Nigeria’s Niger Delta region.
The webinar was well attended by media and CSOs from Nigeria and other African countries.