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Commissioner leads Special Inter-Ministerial team on JIV to Polluted Site

Highlight: Shell’s Seibou spill confirmed as equipment or material failure
Location: From Ogboinbiri axis, Southern Ijaw Local Government Area, Bayelsa State
GPS Coordinate: Elev -11m N 04°49.610’ E 005°54.737’ [at the wellhead site where the spill occurred

INTRODUCTION:
Following ERA/FoEN earlier visit to Keme-Ebiama and a related report, the Bayelsa State Government through the Office of the Commissioner for Environment, Iniruo Wills convened a meeting with some impacted communities. Shell and community representatives were invited to discuss on the way forward. The communities that attended include: Ogboinbiri, Azagbene, Gbaraun, Keme-Ebiama and Kokologbene. Of these, the first three were regarded as communities hosting the facilities. A date was picked for all stakeholders to visit the spill site for an official investigation to ascertain the cause of spill. An invitation was extended to ERA/FoEN to be part of the government team to the spill site, from the ministry of environment.

On Friday 13th March, 2015 the Special Inter-Ministerial Committee on Environment was led by Mr. Inirou Wills and his ministry of agriculture counterpart to the spill site at Ogboinbiri. Apart from the members of the Special Inter-Ministerial Committee represented, the print and electronic media were represented by Africa Independent Television (AIT) and News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). The team went in two gunboats manned by the Joint Task Force (JTF) and one Passport marine craft. The team first landed at Agip’s Ogboinbiri flow station where a brief meeting was held with Shell representatives and community leaders before heading to the Seibou deep spill site at the end of a canal.

 

Press Release


Keep your promise on halting water privatisation, ERA/FoEN urges Ambode

The Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) has congratulated Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on his victory at the just-concluded gubernatorial elections in Lagos, urging him to live up to his electoral promises when he assumes office, particularly the immediate reversal of the planned privatisation of water in Lagos. Ambode won the elections held on April 11, 2015, beating his closest rival, Mr. Jimi Agbaje of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to clinch the governorship slot in one of the most keenly contested elections in Lagos’ history.

In a statement issued in Lagos, ERA/FoEN said the emergence of Ambode is manifestation of the wishes of the electorate who cast their votes in the hope that the governor-elect will sustain the enviable pace of development the state has enjoyed in the last 16 years of democratic rule.

 

Headliners


  • 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.


  • Court documents expose Shell’s false claims on Nigeria oil spills: Shell Responds

    Thursday, 13th November 2014

    Court documents revealed by Amnesty International today expose the fact that Shell has repeatedly made false claims about the size and impact of two major oil spills at Bodo in Nigeria in an attempt to minimize its compensation payments. The documents also show that Shell has known for years that its pipelines in the Niger Delta were old and faulty.
    The potential repercussions are that hundreds of thousands of people may have been denied or underpaid compensation based on similar underestimates of other spills.
    The irrefutable evidence that Shell underestimated the Bodo spills emerged in a UK legal action brought by 15,000 people whose livelihoods were devastated by oil pollution in 2008. The court action has forced Shell to finally admit the company has underplayed the true magnitude of at least two spills and the extent of damage caused.

    We have been vindicated that Shell hugely manipulates the Joint Investigation reports to suit their purpose, escape from responsibility and to manage liabilities says Godwin Uyi Ojo, Executive Director ERA

    “Amnesty International firmly believes Shell knew the Bodo data were wrong. If it did not it was scandalously negligent – we repeatedly gave them evidence showing they had dramatically underestimated the spills,” said Audrey Gaughran, Director for Global Issues at Amnesty International.


  • Take Action Vote the Nominee of the Sustainable Development Pinocchio Awards

    Thursday, 6th November 2014

    This year  Environmental Rights Action is collaborating with Friends of the Earth France who  is working together with Peuples Solidaires - Action Aid France and CRID for the 7th year organizing the “Sustainable Development Pinocchio Awards”. The awards highlight the social and environmental impacts of the activities of multinational companies, activities that are in clear contradiction with the sustainable development goals that they claim to respect, commitments that additionally are legally non-binding and have thereby proven to be ineffective.

    There are three categories of nominees; the category “Greener than green” is awarded to “the company which has led the most abusive and misleading communication campaign in regard to its actual activities”. The second category “Dirty hands, full wallet” is awarded to the company “which has the most opaque policy at the financial level, in terms of lobbying or in its supply chain”. The third category “One for all, all for me!” is awarded to the company “which has the most aggressive policy in terms of appropriation, exploitation or destruction of natural resources.”The multinational gas and oil company Total is one of the nominees in the third category for the impacts of their exploitation activities in Nigeria.

 

Oil Politics

Oil Politics is a weekly newspaper column (www.234NEXT.com) 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.

 
STOP IMPUNITY NIGERIA


Photo Speak
Disclaimer!

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.

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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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