abdos world

Thursday, March 16, 2006



Shell and Nigeria

Shell is considered to be one of the leaders in the field of oil industry; however, they were accused of many unethical acts in the 1990’s and continue to be a main target for human rights organizations and activists.

Shell began exploring oil in Nigeria since the 1930’s until they discovered it in the 1950’s. The Royal Dutch/Shell Group then participated in a joint venture with Nigerian Government and two other private firms. The best type of oil discovered in Nigeria was coming from a place called Ogoniland which used to be the place where a very famous ethnic group called Saro-Wiwa ethnic group is living. The problem was that this land used to be the one of the nation’s poorest places. So they were asking for funds from the government to develop their land. However, Shell was criticized for spending less to no effort in deciding how development funds of its community should be spent

Baron’s concepts of Non-market issues could be highly applied into this case. The issue here is that these very poor people were looking for a payback for allowing Shell and the government dig into their lands generating millions of dollars. They were asking for no more than 10 percent of revenues to develop their poor land.

Another issue was that Oil exploration as Saro-Wiwa states “ has turned Ongoni into a waste land: lands, streams, and creeks are totally and continually polluted; the atmosphere has been poisoned, charged with hydrocarbon vapors, methane, carbon monoxide….the results of such unchecked environmental pollution and degradation include the complete destruction of the ecosystem.

In addition, Interest here represents in large Shell who were socially irresponsible for their acts that cause pollution and made a lot of Ongoni’s leave their homes. Ogoni activists such as Saro-Wiwa who was born and raised in Ogoniland were also attacking Shell unethical acts.

Moreover, there are a lot of Institutions that are involved into this case such as: The Nigerian Government itself which had a big impact in this issue because it was a main shareholder in Nigerian Shell. Some of other organizations were: Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) and Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) which could also be considered as an interest group.

Finally the information here were clearly represented by Saro-Wiwa’s speech which he clarified most of the issued being held against Shell. However Shell disputed these charges arguing that it has acquired a land for operations comprised only of .3 percent of Niger Delta.

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