Stakeholders’ consultation in shell nigeria



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  1. SPDC

Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (‘Shell Nigeria’) produces about 1 million barrels of oil per day which is about half of the total Nigerian production. Oil and gas is found in and around the Niger Delta, the ‘South – South’ in Nigerian parlance. The vegetation of the region is, from the ocean inwards, mangrove, fresh water swamp forest and upland forest. The regions is inhabited by about 7 million people, agriculture and fisheries are the main economic activities apart from the oil industry

  1. The Press in the mid 90’s

  • ‘The Killing Fields: Oil ravages the Niger Delta

  • ‘OPERATION GENOCIDE STOP THIS WAR! The ongoing assault by the Nigerian Armed Forces on citizens in the oil-bearing communities must be halted today.’

  • ‘Oil companies such as Shell, Chevron, Mobil, Agip and Elf continue to chalk-up massive human rights abuses in the area with the assistance of our "law enforcement" agencies. None is held accountable for these abuses’

  • ‘By popular perception, the marginalisation and balkanisation of the peoples of the Niger Delta, the despoliation of their environment and the resultant conflicts have their roots in the discovery of oil, exploitation, exploration and production activities by the oil multinationals in the late 1950s.’

  • ‘A series of repressive and corrupt governments in Nigeria have been supported and maintained by western governments and oil corporations, keen on benefiting from the fossil fuels that can be exploited’

  1. 1995: Saro-Wiwa

‘Ken Saro-Wiwa, a playwright and founder of MOSOP, and a prominent critic of both Shell and the Nigerian government, was arrested in May 1994 the day after a demonstration in which four moderate Ogoni leaders were murdered by Ogoni youths

Saro-Wiwa was found guilty and sentenced to death along with eight others on 31 October 1995 after a trial which the Foreign Office described as a “flawed judicial process”

Shell Oil and Nigeria's military dictatorship are using a black-against-black "divide and confuse" PR strategy to deflect criticism following Nigeria's executions of writer Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other environmental and human rights activists.’


  1. From 1999 onwards: civilian rule

‘Since civilian rule was restored there have been a series of ethnic conflicts. At the end of May clashes between Ijaw and Itsekiri youth south of Warri led to nearly 200 deaths.’

‘The ancient oil town of Warri had exploded in violence between hitherto co-existing communities. This explosion has left scars, visible and invisible. The antagonism among these ethnic groups is not new; it is a festering sore; it is merely increasing in frequency.’

‘Corruption and economic mismanagement are other factors that contribute to the usually fast escalation of relatively minor disputes into deadly violence’

‘Media reports had alleged that SPDC might take the National Assembly to court if the Senate forced it to pay the $1.5 billion compensation to Ijaw communities for alleged environmental degradation.’




  1. Problems and the perception thereof

‘Saro-Wiwa and eight minority activists were hanged in November 1995 over, the murders of four Ogoni chiefs, provoking worldwide outrage. ``The, international outcry that followed the execution of Ken Saro-Wiwa and, eight other Ogonis in November had a serious impact on Shell's reputation, globally,'' admitted Shell Nigeria's chief executive, Brian Anderson, in, the company's annual review for that year.’

‘There is a similar need for greater transparency in Shell's operations. We consider that much of the environmental information made available to PIRC (Pensions & Investment Research Consultants Limited) by Shell, particularly regarding the Nigeria Country Plan, could be in the public domain.’

‘PIRC therefore considers that it would be appropriate for Shell to review its environmental policy with a view to clearly setting out a group-wide commitment to the highest international technical and operating standards’

‘Part of the responsibility must rest with the Nigerian government, but we also consider that the emergence of environmental problems raises questions about the adequacy of the implementation of the Shell group's environmental policy.’

‘We consider that Shell's stated aim of being apolitical is unsustainable and welcome the company's recognition that there may be a grey area in its policy on this issue.’


  1. 1998 and onwards

‘An Environmental Workshop for SPDC's Stakeholders was held at the Presidential Hotel, Port Harcourt, Nigeria 14 through 17 April 1998. Over 80 individuals representing a broad spectrum of interests including regulatory authorities, NGOs, community representatives, academicians and industry specialists met to address SPDC's long-term environmental objectives and goals. Several International organisations also contributed to the event.’

‘SPDC hosted the 2001 Integrated Environment and Community Development Stakeholders' Workshop in Warri from 13 to 15 March, 2001. Over 500 participants representing a broad spectrum of interests, attended the workshop.’

‘February 2004 saw the seventh workshop, with again more than 500 participants.’

The objectives of the workshops are:



  • to maintain and improve dialogue and partnership with stakeholders,

  • to discuss issues of concern to the stakeholders,

  • to review SPDC's performance in environmental management and community development during the year in light of the recommendations of the previous year's participants, and

  • to consult with stakeholders on the company's proposed programmes for the next year

  1. More outside scrutiny

‘In addition to carrying out our own internal reviews, in 2001 we invited a team of external stakeholder experts to conduct an independent review of our community development projects completed in 2000. The team's assessment of the 2001 completed projects indicated overall that 83 per cent of the projects reviewed were functional and that 62 per cent were successful.

An analysis of the projects highlights the need for improvement in our project delivery in three key areas:



  • early hand-over of completed projects to beneficiaries

  • increased supervision and monitoring of community projects implemented on our behalf by major contractors

  • increased advocacy with communities for their active participation, ownership and maintenance of projects’

  1. The method

    1. First and foremost: recognise and acknowledge the issues at hand

    2. Stakeholders’ analysis: who are involved ?

    3. Stakeholders’ consultation: what do they think about it

    4. Report back on every thing

    5. Let it run from there

What it takes is a modicum of courage and a manifest capability of listening, just listening.

  1. Another example

NETHERLANDS TIMBER TRADE ASSOCIATION

The code of conduct for NTTA members,

  1. NTTA members shall exclusively, bring timber on the Netherlands, market in conformity with current, legislation (agreed nationally as, well as internationally),

  2. NTTA members shall preferably deal, in timber demonstrably originating, from sustainably managed forests,

  3. NTTA members shall dedicate, themselves constructively to, developments that will lead to, more certified timber on the, Netherlands market,

  4. NTTA members shall search for new, production areas with sustainable, forestry,

  5. The attitude of NTTA members, regarding matters such as origin,, tree- felling, development of, wooded areas, biodiversity and, other topical subjects shall be, transparent, constructive and, straightforward,

  6. NTTA members shall exert, themselves to maintain the high, level of labour situations and, conditions in the Netherlands,

  7. NTTA members shall endorse the, interest of sound communication, and the promotion of timber and, shall supply information on, request, All NTTA members shall subscribe to, the NTTA policy and shall comply with, the provisions of this code of conduct, The NTTA has a system of sanctions in, case members fail to observe one or, more provisions, All members shall report their, activities each year to the secretariat of, the NTTA. On the basis of these reports, the NTTA produces an annual social, report.

A code of conduct – especially when, linked to accreditation regulations –, should be linked to a system of, sanctions. It should be possible to, subject members who fail to comply, with the code of conduct with, sanctions, The following sanction system is, effective,

  • Members can report an alleged, violation to the Board,

  • The Board can also act as a screen, and, for example, see if, consultation with the party, concerned can lead to an acceptable, solution. The complaint must be, substantiated by documents and, the Board may ask the complainant, for a financial contribution to the, investigation of the complaint,

  • The Board decides if in principle a, reported violation deserves a, sanction and reports the matter to, the Binding-Advice Committee, This Committee then reaches a, decision after a standard procedure, involving hearing both sides, For the sanctions as such the following, proposal is made,

  • If a violation is established, the, member in question will be, informed and will be offered an, opportunity to defend himself. If, this defence is inadequate a, warning will follow,

  • After a second violation a warning, cannot be sufficient. This time a, fine will be imposed. The articles of, incorporation offer the possibility, of taking binding resolutions on, non-compliance, which may be, punished with a maximum fine of, e 45,377.00. The code of conduct, and sanction system will then have, to be established in a binding, resolution to be taken in a meeting, of members with a majority of at, least four fifths of the votes.

  • A subsequent violation will lead to, expulsion.

The NTTA presented this code in a series of meetings to the general public with as a result a remark from someone from Greenpeace: ‘NTTA is ahead of us’






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