On Tuesday February 13, 2024, The Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ) convened a meeting in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria to reflect on Ken Saro Wiwa’s struggles for environmental justice in the Niger Delta and to also discuss emerging issues that have implication for the environment in the region. The meeting had in attendance 47 participants drawn from civil society organizations, media, and community representatives in the Niger Delta region.

The meeting discussed.

  • The current state of the environment in the Niger Delta and the contribution of oil and gas companies to the environmental degradation in the region
  • The outcome of COP28 which took place in Dubai from November 30 to December 13, December 2023
  • The recent spate of divestments by International Oil Companies from on-shore operations in the Niger Delta, particularly the announcement by Shell Petroluem Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) of the planned sale of its Nigerian on-shore subsidiary.
  • The recently released responsible investment report by the Norges Bank Investment Management, a major investor in Shell, Eni and other oil companies.


Participants at the meeting therefore,

  1. Reechoed the level of environmental pollution in Niger Delta region and the implication on the livelihoods of the people Noting that despite stakeholders’ and communities outcry demanding for urgent action by the oil companies to address the lingering environmental problems, with very little or nothing done to address the problem.
  2. Decried the lack of acceptance of Shell’s operational failures by Norges Bank Investment Management despite the grievous evidence presented in the reports and witness statements pointing to Shell; and could have done more to prevent and remediate oil spills in the Niger Delta
  3. Dissatisfied with the 2023 responsible investment report released by Norges Bank Investment Management blaming oil spills in the Niger Delta largely on theft and sabotage, and this does not reflect the true situation on the ground.
  4. Welcomed the signal at COP28 to phase out the use of fossil fuel and the operationalization of loss and damage fund but noted with concern that the delay from the developed countries in sending their representatives to the Board and plan to domicile the Fund with the World Bank could potentially compromise the direct access of the Fund to those affected and pursue it was established.
  5. Decried the poor participation of political actors from the Niger Delta in the global climate change discourse including at COP meetings.
  6. Noted with concern the plan by Shell to divest from on-shore operations in the Niger Delta and sell off its on-shore facilities to Renaissance Africa Energy without first addressing the environmental damages and livelihood crisis created in the region through its operations.
  7. Decried the weak regulatory framework in the Nigerian oil and gas sector where regulators depend on the oil and gas company’s data and provided facilities to do their jobs.


In the light of the above, the participants at the meeting resolved as follows:

  1. Commended the Dutch healthcare pension fund, PFZW for selling almost all its holdings in fossil fuel companies, including in oil majors Shell, BP and TotalEnergies for lack of a credible climate strategy, and encouraged other investors to follow the example of the pension fund.
  2. Urged the National Assembly to hold a public hearing to discuss the planned divestment by Shell and other oil companies from onshore operations the Niger Delta
  3. Called on the Nigerian government to reject the divestment plan and sale of its onshore facility by Shell until community concerns are addressed and the company addresses the environmental challenges and livelihood loss it created in the Niger Delta
  4. Enjoined the federal government and the regulators to adopt a national framework on responsible divestment that will guide oil companies’ divestment to align it with environmental restoration and climate mitigation.
  5. Resolved to launch campaign for the Nigerian government and oil companies to commence environmental audit and clean-up of all polluted sites in the Niger Delta
  6. Called on the Nigerian government to monster the political will to adequately fund the regulatory agencies in the oil and gas sector to increase the effectiveness and independence of such agencies.
  7. Encouraged CSOs and researchers to conduct further investigations and research into the ecosystem and public health challenges in the region.
  8. Called on political actors in the Niger Delta to play a key role in the global climate change discourse such as the COP processes.
  9. Rejected the position of Norges Bank Investment Management in its responsible investment report where it blamed oil spills in the Niger Delta largely on theft and sabotage.
  10. Strongly advocated the expunging of Section 257 of the Petroleum Industry Act that wrongly places the responsibility to protect oil facilities on host communities instead of the operators and the government and called for a review of this and other obnoxious sections of the Act.

Signed on behalf of the 47 civil society groups,

  1. Innocent Edemhanria, African Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ)
  2. Legbosi Saro, Indigenous Centre for Energy and Sustainable Development
  3. AkpoBari Celestine, Ogoni Solidarity Forum
  4. Inyingi Irimagha, Gender and Development Action (GADA)
  5. Emeka Uneanya, Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Centre
  6. Akie Hart, Mangroove Forest Conservation Society of Nigeria
  7. Freeman Elohor, African Centre for Climate Actions and Rural Development (ACCARD) Initiative
  8. Tijah Bolton Akpan, Policy Alert
  9. Nbani Friday Barilule, Lekeh Development Foundation
  10. Prince Ekpere Edegbuo, Social Action
  11. Barr. Grace Apollos, We the People
  12. Amb. Princess Elizabeth Egbe, Global Care Resources Mission (GCRM)
  13. Michael Gbarale, Rainbow Watch and Development Centre