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Shell Spent $383 million on Security in Nigeria

By on August 21, 2012

Shell HQ, Netherlands

Oil major Shell spent almost 40% of its $1 billion global budget for security in Nigeria during the years 2007 to 2009, according to a pressure group named Platform.

Platform said most of the money went to the Nigerian Army, Police, and Navy which the group described as corrupt.

“Shell paid many millions of dollars to government forces with a track record for corruption and creating instability across Nigeria,” Platform’s Ben Amunwa said

The exact monetary spend was put at $383 million, and although Shell refused to confirm the figures, the oil company said it sent heavily due to the security threats in the region.

“We have always acknowledged the difficulties of working in countries like Nigeria. Protecting our people and our assets is Shell’s highest priority,” Shell Nigeria spokesman Precious Okolobo said in response.

“In the period that this report refers to, the armed militancy in the Niger Delta was at its height, requiring a relatively high level of security spending there,” Okolobo said.

Shell has attracted condemnation from human rights groups who find the company’s track record for aligning interests with corrupt regimes and security forces despicable, even as the company does little to clean up the oil spills it is involved in.

“While primary responsibility for human rights abuses lies with the Nigerian government and other perpetrators, Shell bears a heavy responsibility for the devastating social impacts of its security spending,” Amunwa added.

Reuters says “The company’s relationship with the Nigerian authorities drew stinging criticism in 1995, when the then military government hanged environmental activist Ken Saro-Wiwa two years after his campaign forced Shell out of the Ogoniland region.”