Revenue Flow and Human Rights: A Paradox for Shell Nigeria
Aileen Ionescu-Somers and Ulrich Steger
IMD International, Switzerland
Volume 5: 2008, pp. 247-260; ABSTRACT
The case describes Shell’s evolution within the context of sensitive human rights issues related to oil exploration and exploitation in Nigeria. Given that much of the revenue from Nigerian oil resources was being “siphoned” off by corrupt state governors, the case focuses on issues relevant to government transparency and corruption. It describes Shell’s involvement in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and its collaboration with the Nigerian Government to instigate a more transparent reporting on oil revenues. However, since two senior Shell executives involved in EITI and negotiations with the government are about to retire from the company, the prospect of briefing their successors on the complexity of the Nigerian situation brings a number of questions, that still remain to be answered, “to the table”. Learning objective: Participants learn about the invasive nature of corruption and its effect on human rights, but more specifically about the role of a multinational versus the role of the government when trying to deal with such issues. Participants will also learn a great deal about the complexity of sustainability issues for corporations, particularly human rights, issues. There is also learning about the scope and limits of corporate responsibility, and the difficulties that all players face in tough market conditions and on a “non-level playing field”. Participants can develop new insights on ways of operating responsibly, creating valuable partnerships and interacting in a global, but socially responsible, context.