Dutch Parliament wades into Shell/ Niger Delta crisis seeking dialogue

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    Shell Petrol Station

    Shell Petroleum Company, Nigeria’s biggest and long serving oil explorers is to be in the dock for a major x-tray by the Dutch Parliament as the conglomerate continue to face allegations of environmental atrocities in the Delta region of Nigeria.

    The Dutch Parliament has indicated that it would commence a major hearing and review of the activities of the operators of Shell,  Royal Dutch Shell in the Nigeria’s  Niger Delta region.

    The commencement of the hearing has been fixed for January 26, according to a report in the  Wall Street Journal.

    The journal however claimed the investigation would touch on corruption in the oil-rich region, Shell’s exploration operations and cases of oil spills.The parliament is also to examine the extent of the damage done to the life of the people and the area and what Shell has done so far to alleviate the plight of the people.

    “The first ever parliamentary hearing on Shell’s Nigerian operations is a reflection of the growing concern in the West about oil spills in West Africa particularly in Nigeria” reports, a French on line news paper Africa News on line.

    The oil major would be required to give insights into its operations in Nigeria and to answer questions bordering on environmental damage in the region.

    Amnesty International disclosed that hundreds of oil-polluted sites have yet to be cleaned up around Nigeria, compromising local water, food and livelihood.

    Sharon_GesthuizenThe hearing however is being set up as many observers across the world challenged Shell’s rape of Nigeria and light handling of the Delta regions plight in the event of several years of agony to the people of Niger Delta.

    A oil spillage last year’s in the Gulf of Mexico was handle with more decisive action and dignity of purpose respect to the community with BP’s owning up and taking up its responsibility and accounting for the Mexico spill. Adequate remunerations were on table and the world saw a high level of expressed regret and accountability.

    In the case of Nigeria, there had been biased approach as Western press apportion more blame to militant attacks and diverting the real issue of accountability and precise action.

    It is believed that the Dutch Parliament are bent on arriving at a more positive and credible resolution on Delta region , its deprivation and more respectable treatment of issues of oil spillage.

    There had been  heightened threat to  Western oil companies in the Delta region with human right activists challenging ill treatment of the people claiming that not enough had been done to allay the suffering of the people in the face of damages to people’s social life, livestock, farms and other relating life line activities.

    The current move by Dutch Parliament are said to have been pushed through by Dutch opposition parties, some of whose members have long sought public discussion of Shell’s role in the Niger Delta.

    “In the course of the fact-finding discussion, critics of Shell’s record both in parliament and among non-governmental organisations are expected to quiz Shell over its activities in Nigeria, while non-governmental organisations will present reports at the hearing”, projected  Afrique En Ligne the French on line News site, linking the Delta crisis to Militant violence, corruption and organised crimeand environmental damage.

    ShellBut  Socialist Party lawmaker Sharon Gesthuizen said  that the proposed action  would be more about fact-finding than apportioning of blames.

    “We don’t believe (the problems in the Niger Delta) are all Shell’s fault”, she said in an interview with the Journal, adding:”But they’ve been going on for so long now, and we need to know why”.