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Azuzuama Tragedy, Counting the Cost of Agip Operations on Lives

Highlights: 14 lives lost in the incident; in a hostile environment. Location: Azuzuama community environment, along Agip pipeline; site of recent explosion/fire Date of Visit: 16th July, 2015


On Thursday 9th July 2015 the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) learnt of the deaths of 14 persons along Agip’s Tebidabe-Clough Creek pipeline at a damaged section of the pipeline during a Joint Investigation Visit (JIV). The incident is not entirely new in the operations of the Nigerian Agip Oil Company [NAOC]. The people of Etieama community in Nembe Local Government Area (LGA) of Bayelsa State are yet to forget the deaths of 18 vibrant youths who were invited to assist during clamping of a ruptured section of NAOC’s Brass-Ogoda pipeline in year 2000. According to community folks at Etiema, that ugly incident was caused by spark from a machine used during the clamping. 


Press Release


Friends of the Earth Africa (FoEA) groups have decried the impact of extractive companies’ operations across the African region, cautioning that if communities are not adequately empowered to advocate for and defend their rights, more of them will be displaced leading to conflicts.

The groups made the call during a solidarity mission to oil host communities in Bunyoro sub-region (Albertine Region, Uganda) currently grappling with the challenges associated with the developing oil industry in the country. Participants in the solidarity visit were Friends of the Earth International, FoEA member groups from Uganda, Nigeria, Togo, Tanzania, Cameroon, Ghana, Mali, Tunisia and South Africa. Community representatives in Uganda affected by unsustainable development projects were also part of the team. The FoEA team was particularly concerned that residents of Kabale parish who have been asked by government to vacate the place to pave way for the oil refinery have received inadequate or no compensation at all for their lost properties.



  • Connecting Local Outrage To Global Resistance of Corporate Control of Water.

    Friday, 14th August 2015



    The Environmental Rights Action/ Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/ FoEN) organised a Water Summit with the theme: Connecting Local Outrage to Global Resistance of Corporate Control of Water on 11-12 August 2015. The summit was organised in partnership with Corporate Accountability International, the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service, Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE), Public Services International (PSI), Transnational Institute, Asian Peoples' Movement on Debt & Development, and Freedom from Debt Coalition.

    Participants were drawn from local, national and international partners in Ghana, Belgium, the Philippines and the United States, representing a growing global movement committed to resisting corporate control of water and securing water as a human right. Solidarity messages were received from notable civil society actors and policy stakeholders in Nigeria. They include Ms. Joe Odumakin, Chairperson of Women Arise for Change Initiative; Hon. Wale Okediran and Hon. Uche Onyeagucha former parliamentarians; Mr. Auwal Rafsanjani, Executive Director, Civil Society Legislative Centre (CISLAC); Greg Akili, Project Coordinator, Corporate Accountability International (CAI); Priscilla Achakpa, Executive Director of Women Environmental Programme; Sani Baba of Public Service International (PSI), and Shayda Naficy of Corporate Accountability International.

  • Nigeria palm oil land grab exposes need for human rights treaty

    Thursday, 9th July 2015

    Nigeria palm oil land grab exposes need for human rights treaty

    A new report on palm oil land grabs in Nigeria by Asia's leading agribusiness group exposes the need for a binding treaty to regulate corporate human rights abuses globally, says Friends of the Earth International. Global palm oil trader Wilmar International Ltd. (WLIL.SI) has come under scrutiny for a large-scale land acquisition in Cross River State, Nigeria where it destroyed areas of High Conservation Value, including community food-producing areas and water sources essential to local communities, according to a report released today.

    The new report, Exploitation and empty promises: Wilmar's Nigerian landgrab, uses first-person testimonies, satellite maps, and Wilmar's own filings with the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil to demonstrate that the company failed to gain the Free, Prior and Informed Consent of communities directly affected by its operations; failed to produce adequate Environmental and Social Impact Assessments; and failed to live up to promises of infrastructure development and benefit sharing, despite these promises being a primary incentive for local communities to allow the company to operate in Cross River State.

    "It is a disgrace that Wilmar is painting a picture to its financiers and buyers that they have improved their operations, when the reality on the ground shows that they are still bulldozing away people's lives," said Godwin Ojo, Executive Director of Environmental Rights Action in Nigeria. "Wilmar should address these evictions and human rights violations or pack and go."

  • Oronto Douglas demise a loss to the nation – ERA/FoEN

    Thursday, 9th April 2015

    Oronto Douglas demise a loss to the nation – ERA/FoEN

    The Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) has expressed shock at the death of Barrister Oronto Douglas, Senior Special Assistant on Strategy and Documentation to President Goodluck Jonathan, describing his demise as a loss to the nation and the human rights community.
    As special assistant to the president on documentation and strategy, Douglas used the platform to continue advocating for the rights of Niger Delta communities suffering from environmental degradation and marginalisation. Despite his ill health condition in the last four years he worked tirelessly for the cause of the down-trodden.
    Douglas along with Nnimmo Bassey, former executive director of ERA/FoEN and former chair of Friends of the Earth International and Godwin Ojo, current executive director of ERA/FoEN  co-founded ERA/FoEN in 1993. He has used this platform to increase environmental awareness and citizens’ response to environmental issues in Nigeria.

  • The fall in oil price could be a turning point for Nigeria's economy

    Thursday, 12th March 2015

    The drumbeat of war is sounding on the streets as Nigeria prepares for the 2015 elections. The election, due in February, has been postponed by six weeks to 28 March, ostensibly to allow the electoral commission more time to prepare and to beef up security in the north-eastern part of the country where Boko Haram is strong.

    But a far more insidious deciding factor in the polls could be Nigeria’s unhealthy dependence on oil, which represents over 80% of its national income. Plummeting oil prices since December have presented new challenges for Nigeria’s economy.

    The much needed oil allocations from central government to the federal states have been delayed, making it difficult for some to meet recurrent and capital projects expenditure. The free-falling oil price is forcing the government to draw down its foreign reserves to augment the budget.
    If oil prices continue to fall, tumbling morale and expectations could pose major obstacles to a free and fair elections. Already, opposition parties are crying foul over the draw-down of more than 80% of the national foreign reserves that were set up in 2012. And a sovereign wealth fund for Nigeria, based on the Norwegian fund (currently worth nearly $900bn), looks likely to remain a pipedream. Pressure on the economy has forced the government to abandon the idea, which aimed to provide for the rainy day that has already caught up with the country. Now, with oil prices hovering around $50 per barrel, many have declared the 2015 budget unrealistic.

  • Farmers in Nigeria's Taraba State refuse to give up lands for massive rice plantation project backed by the G8

    Wednesday, 28th January 2015

    Farmers in Nigeria's north eastern state of Taraba are being forced off lands they have farmed for generations to make way for US company Dominion Farms to establish a 30,000 ha rice plantation.

    The Dominion Farms project forms part of the G8's New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition in Africa and the Nigerian government's Agricultural Transformation Agenda, which are both intended to enhance food security and livelihoods for small farmers in Nigeria. A new report, however, finds that the Dominion Farms project is having the opposite effect. The report was produced by two Nigerian NGOs, Environmental Rights Action (ERA)/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (FoEN) and Center for Environmental Education and Development (CEED), with the support of Global Justice Now and GRAIN. It is based on field investigations and interviews conducted with local farmers, community leaders and government officials.

    The report shows how the lands provided to Dominion Farms are part of a public irrigation scheme that thousands of families depend on for their food needs and livelihoods. The local people were not consulted about the Dominion Farms project and, although the company has already started to occupy the lands, they are still completely in the dark about any plans for compensation or resettlement. Dominion Farms is involved in a similar land grab for a rice farm in Kenya that has generated conflicts with local communities.


Oil Politics

Oil Politics is a weekly newspaper column ( in which Nnimmo Bassey rigorously examines issues relating to the extractive industries as well as other pressing socio-economic issues through the filter of justice.

What is on that Plate?

The theme of the World Environment Day 2013 is “Think. Eat. Save”. Each word is loaded and stands alone, separated by unambiguous periods. That should get us thinking indeed. Many people in the world do not really think before eating. They are more preoccupied by the nagging question of where the next meal would come from. There are also a number of persons whose questions pertain to what to eat out of the myriad of choices on their sumptuous dining tables. And, of course, there are people to whom saving food is not a problem while to yet others there is simply no choice in doing that. There are others who wish to save but cannot do so either due to a lack of means to do so, or for the reason of current insufficiencies.

There is a lot of food for thought in just considering the theme.


Photo Speak

ERA has recently received information that a group calling itself the "Niger Delta Coalition in the Diaspora" is still engaging itself in activities and communications giving the impression that it is linked with Environmental Rights Action (ERA).

This group issues out communications using ERA's headquarter address and mail box. We have never had any ties with this group and any views, comments or opinions expressed by them is not endorsed or authorized by any member of management or staff of ERA.

Green Hotlines
Green Hotlines
Is there a spill, pipeline rupture, fire, gas flare, water, land or air pollution in your community or one you know about? Do you need assistance to respond, and prevent future occurrences or have you noticed any activity that threatens the environment?

In the event of any ecological disaster or threat to the environment, call our toll-free GREEN LINES:  08031230088 & 08031230089

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