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Nigeria records over 6,000 tonnes of oil spillage by saboteurs in 2021 – Shell

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Multinational oil and gas company, Shell Plc has revealed that the volume of crude oil spills caused by sabotage in Nigeria’s oil-rich Delta more than doubled to 3,300 tonnes last year, a level last seen seven years ago in 2016.

Report says the Niger Delta in southern Nigeria is one of the most polluted places on Earth. Decades of spillages from over 50 years of oil operations continue to erode local communities’ health, well-being, and livelihoods. 75% of spills since 2016 are due to theft and sabotage, mostly by militants and organized crime groups.

Most often the oil and gas are delivered safely to domestic and international customers without problem thanks to a dedicated focus on operational excellence, spill prevention and, if necessary, responding quickly to any spill.

However, multinational in its 2021 Nigeria report (Pdf) claimed that the total spilled volume of crude oil is the lowest for at least 10 years.

“Spills from the SPDC JV operations, activities, and assets are now uncommon and, as the operator, SPDC operates to the same technical standards as Shell companies globally. Illegal activities and their legacy continue to require additional work, security, and engagement with local communities”. The Report reads.

Premiumtimesng report says between January 2019 and April 2021, 12 states in Nigeria recorded 881 cases of oil spillage, according to data obtained from NOSDRA, a government-run satellite tracker. “About 77 percent of the spills were said to have occurred in only three oil-producing states: Bayelsa, Delta, and Rivers. The three are among Nigeria’s highest oil producers for that period. However, Nigeria’s second-highest oil-producing state during the period, Akwa Ibom, only witnessed 26 oil spills within that period” The report concludes.

Shell operations in Nigeria have encountered difficulties lately in the Delta caused due to operational incidents, theft and sabotage so much that the company has started moves to divest but that decision has not not been without hurdles.

Last month, a Nigerian court stopped Shell from selling any assets in Nigeria until a decision is reached on the company’s appeal of a nearly $2 billion penalty for an alleged oil spill.

In 2021, Shell agreed to pay a Nigerian community $111.68 million to settle a case over an oil spill that took place more than 50 years ago.

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Nigerien President, Mohamed Bazoum wants employment quotas for African immigrants

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Niger’s President Mohamed Bazoum wants employment quotas for African immigrants tailored to job needs from European countries.

President Bazoum made the position in an interview with an Italian newspaper, La Repubblica. on Friday.

The president’s argument is that the quota will address European countries’ needs for its labour market and could help resolve the problem of illegal migration and human trafficking.

“In France, Spain, and Italy you have many jobs in sectors of employment where Africans can work,” Bazoum said.

“These numbers need to be established, country by country, and then the consulates entrusted with the responsibility of enforcing them.”

Surveys of African migrants in or heading toward Europe reveal that the majority were either employed or in school at the time of their departure. Yet, they felt despair over their economic prospects.

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IMF Chief, Ceyla Pazarbasioglu, to visit China over Africa’s growing debt profile

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As the debt profile of many African countries continues to rise, the International Monetary Fund strategy chief, Ceyla Pazarbasioglu will travel to China next week for another high-level meeting.

Her travel is part of efforts to press the world’s largest sovereign creditor for quicker progress on debt restructurings for countries in need.

The IMF chief had called for debt restructuring arrangements for Zambia and Chad to be completed shortly.

Pazarbasioglu said it was critical to move forward and that “outreach to China next week is very important, at the highest levels.”

“It’s moving – very slowly, but it’s moving,” Pazarbasioglu said, noting that the participation of mining company Glencore Plc in the Chad treatment was also “a very good sign” that “even the most difficult private sector participants” were participating.

She said the Paris Club of official bilateral creditors had taken years to hammer out their debt relief processes, and China was learning, although she noted that the debt issues facing borrowing countries now were acute.

“The problem we have is that we don’t have that time right now because these countries are very fragile and dealing with debt vulnerabilities,” she said. “What we need is speed.”

Pazarbasioglu said the IMF would continue to press for changes to the Common Framework, including a freeze in debt payments when countries apply for a debt treatment, as well as clearer procedures and timelines for action, and ensuring comparable treatment for private creditors.

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