Monday, March 19, 2007

Oil in Nigeria

Nigeria has huge reserves of oil: these reserves are strategically important for the US they are also a curse upon the Nigerian people.

A recent radio show on Nigerian oil can be found on the WBUR website.

"Nigeria is rich with oil, producing more than Iraq and Kuwait combined. The country is the fifth-largest supplier of oil to the United States. And it's "light sweet crude," ...a dreamy kind of oil that needs little refinement. But, the communities closest to the drills and platforms -- the people of the Niger Delta -- live in poverty. Without clean drinking water. Without schools. Without jobs. Frustrated by their situation, local men are taking matters into their own hands. They're forming militias, taking hostages, and disrupting oil flow. Journalist Sebastian Junger went deep into the mangroves and creeks of the Niger Delta. He emerged with a chilling story of violence and despair..."

You might think that this situation is awful but beyond your control. This is untrue, apart from contributing to campaigns that aim to pressure oil companies to abide by Nigerian law and act in line with there CSR policies there are important consumer choices to be made.

Do you have a Royal Bank of Scotland bank account? A recent Report from London Platform exposes the activites of the self described oil and gas bank. Many of these investment are found made within the Niger delta region of Nigeria. Perhaps you should change your bank account to a company with an ethical investment policy such as the cooperative bank.

Do you buy oil from Shell? Can you avoid it, perhaps you should.

Previous articles on nigeria and it's oil can be found here.

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