Nnimmo Bassey

Citizen-driven democracy, legislative activism and systemic change is the only thing that will hold companies to account. The case of Nigeria proves this.

Shell’s reaction to the fine announced by the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) over its Bonga oil spill of December 2011 is in line with the oil companies’ stance of avoiding responsibility whenever possible.


The reality of communities with oil, gas and mineral resources - whether in Nigeria, Ecuador, Philippines or Canada - are the same. All of them face daily assaults on their lives.


Offshore oil and gas exploitation is accident-prone. Yet the response mechanisms of the oil companies as well as the government's regulatory agencies remain dismal in Nigeria.


To push genetically engineered crops into Africa, the promoters work hard to ensure lax biosafety laws, ignore the Africa Model Law on Biosafety and ensure lack of transparency while truncating participation.


The crippling strike called by labour organisations may have ended, but Nigeria is not yet at ease. The arguments the government offered for removal of the fuel subsidy ring hollow and the people are not convinced.


The climate conference in Durban has led some observers to conclude that developed countries are engaged in a form of apartheid against the rest of the world. But Nnimmo Bassey hopes negotiators will heed the voices of the people.

In an extract from his forthcoming book, Nnimmo Bassey provides a glimpse into the links between exploitative natural resource extraction, ecological destruction and conflict in Africa. ‘What can Africa do? And once our peoples decide, can the rest of the world act in solidarity?’ Bassey asks.

Global Justice Movement

It’s unlikely we’ll get ‘an equitable outcome’ from COP17, but it will be ‘a great moment to intensify campaigns against the business-as-usual manner’ in which climate negotiations have been conducted so far, writes Nnimmo Bassey.


Nigerian environmental activist Nnimmo Bassey remembers the life of Wangari Maathai, the internationally recognised founder of the Green Belt Movement, who died on 25 September.