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19 Comments on “Contact Us”

  1. #1 Zik Gbemre
    on Jul 23rd, 2014 at 14:14

    July 23, 2014

    Dear Sir,

    RE: DESPITE ANGER OVER DOWNED JETLINER, EUROPE SHIES AWAY FROM SANCTIONS ON RUSSIA

    We find it rather appalling that the custodians’ of society, in this case; the Netherlands, Russia and other European states plus the oil giant-Royal Dutch Shell, are more interested in ‘their pockets,’ thirst for power politics and their economy/business rather than ‘human life’ and high moral values enshrined in the rule of law and rights of its citizenry. That is how best we can describe the pathetic situation playing out between some European nations and Russia and Shell in the middle. Like the above article has noted, it is really sad that “despite anger over downed Jetliner, Europe is shying away from sanctions against Russia.” What is even more appalling is the fact that the oil giant Royal Dutch Shell, is the one behind the scene steering the affairs of the Dutch Government and practically playing politics with ‘human lives.’

    As noted in the article extract above, the Anglo-Dutch Shell is one of the largest foreign investors in Russian gas fields in Siberia and is also the largest corporation in the Netherlands. This has automatically made Shell the most vital and important player in the economy of Netherlands. That means if anything affects Shell, it also affects the Dutch Government and the Netherland’s economy. Hence, the neatly close relationship between the Royal Dutch Shell and the Dutch Government. And as noted in the article extract above, Shell stock is widely held in the nation’s pension funds. That means if Shell loses money, the pensions of Dutch teachers, civil servants and many others suffer. As a result, the ties between Shell and the Dutch government are extremely close, and the company’s welfare inevitably influences policy and every other decisions of the Dutch Government.

    As noted in the post, “They have direct access to everybody in the establishment,” said Sweder van Wijnbergen, who was the secretary-general of the ministry of economic affairs from 1997 to 2000. His former boss in that job, who was then the minister in charge of the economy, Hans Wijers, sits on the Shell board of directors (that is how close the relationship between Shell and the Dutch Government is). “Naturally, Shell will try to prevent any sanctions against Russia,” Mr. van Wijnbergen said. “Of course the government ultimately makes its own decisions.” And we add, such decisions of the Dutch Government are still tailored to suit the interests of the oil giant-Shell to protect their business in Russia.

    That means we cannot separate Shell’s interests from that of the Dutch Government’s interests. And as such, the business interests of Shell obviously outweighs every other interests concerning The Nehterlands; even if it pertains to human lives. This to us is a rather dangerous pattern of relationship that only upholds the ideals of capitalism.

    But the truth is that, in a situation where innocent lives were blatantly cut short by the inter-play of a supposed cold war driven by the excessive tendencies of the Russia Government in Ukraine and parts of Europe, and the Dutch Government and Shell are more interested in saving their self-centered interests, then it greatly questions the integrity of the oil giant that keeps preaching “SAFETY FIRST” in all its operations across the world.

    In a situation where about 298 lives were lost, which includes Four Shell employees and 193 citizens of The Netherlands that died in the crash of Flight 17, we are greatly disturbed at the length these big corporate companies and their partners in government would go to just to be on top of their game. Shell as a company often preaches that ‘Safety’ (which focuses on the safety of personnel against injury and loss of life during their operations), is the ultimate goal of all of its operations. And that if a job is considered to be ‘unsafe’ then such a job should be discarded and done away with, no matter how much is involved. But by playing ignorant of the situation in Russia and the loss of countless innocent lives and planes getting shot with missiles, then it means Shell’s SAFETY FIRST slogan and sermons are all a complete sham in all ramifications. When it comes to human lives and business, every corporate entity and government should know where to draw the line.

    It is also funny that Shell is plying ‘double-standard’ in its operations in other countries like Nigeria when compared to what it does in The Netherlands. For instance, in its regular Integrity Due Diligence (IDD) Audit exercise in Nigeria meant for its registered Vendors/Contractors, Shell (SPDC) clearly stipulates that for every job execution, its registered Vendor/Contractor must first confirm that “none of its owners or directors, nor its employees or associates who will benefit from or take part in the execution or performance of the Agreement, is a Government Official…” That means as a Shell (SPDC) Vendor/Contractor in Nigeria, one should have no ‘relationship with the government’ that will make the latter benefit from the job being executed on behalf of the Shell. In fact, we know of one Prince Chief Okeimute Oviri, a registered Shell (SPDC) Contractor who was nearly disqualified because he made some published commentaries on Nigerian politics, not that he was even an elected government official.

    The question now is, if Shell has and encourages a closely-knitted relationship with its Dutch Government in the Netherlands, how come the situation is different in Nigeria concerning its Vendors? Shell even allows a government official to sit on its board of directors. That is unheard of in other countries like Nigeria where it operates. Perhaps, this is a topic for another day.

    It is also appalling and unfortunate that the Dutch Government is not condemning Russia for its devious actions in Ukraine and even against its citizenry, simply because of its economic interests in Russia through Shell. For shying away from this, it simply means the Dutch Government are aiding and abating broad day light ‘war crimes’ perpetrated by the Russia Government. As noted in the article, “In a full-page advertisements in major Dutch newspapers, the government offered condolences, but described the downing of the plane as a “disaster” rather than a missile strike. In recent days, Prime Minister Mark Rutte of The Netherlands has made sure to keep his lines of communication with Mr. Putin open, to “bring the bodies home,” he has said repeatedly. Behind the scenes, Dutch investors in Russia are also consulted, former insiders said. “Of course representatives of Shell are discreetly talking to the government throughout the plane ordeal, in order to minimize damage to the company,” Mr. van Wijnbergen said.

    The Dutch entanglement with Russia through Shell is emblematic of ties that many European nations have with Russia. In making the case for tougher sanctions to his Parliament, Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain argued that Europe should use its economic leverage against Russia. But other European countries have parried/blocked efforts to strengthen penalties on Russia. France for instance, has opposed proposed sanctions against arms sales to Russia, in part because it is building two Mistral-class helicopter ships for Russia’s military. “For the time being, a level of sanctions has not been decided that would prevent this delivery,” President François Hollande of France said in the report. “The Russians have paid,” he said, and canceling the deal would require France to reimburse Russia €1.1 billion, or $1.5 billion. Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany on Monday said that communication lines with Russia needed to stay open.

    As reiterated in the post, despite widespread anger over the plane’s downing, European nations have shied away from measures that would further isolate Russia. Dependent on Russian gas and oil, wary of confrontation on the Continent and alive to the fact of Russia’s proximity, Europe’s leaders have largely decided they will have to live with a newly assertive Russia. “Almost every European state has voluntarily handed over power to Mr. Putin, allowing him to play countries against each other,” said Marietje Schaake, an influential member of the European Parliament. “We should choose for energy independency, for principles, human rights and rule of law. But that is not what (they) are doing now.”

    At a recent meeting, the foreign ministers of the European Union agreed to draw up a new, broader list of targets for sanctions, including Russian individuals and entities, said Catherine Ashton, the European Union’s foreign affairs Chief. But no new additional measures were imposed, reflecting fears among some Europeans that tougher sanctions would invite reprisals by Russia against countries dependent on its energy supplies, harming the Continent’s economic growth. It was a mirror image of the debate that unfolded in bland diplomatic language in Brussels, where foreign ministers of the European Union’s 28 member states were under pressure to display resolve and common purpose after the downing of the Malaysia Airlines jet over eastern Ukraine. In the end, there was plenty of tough talk, yet no real punishment for Russia despite calls from Australia, Britain and the United States, who have all accused Russia of supplying the missile that brought down Flight 17, to take a tougher line.

    “Nowhere is the European conundrum clearer than in the Netherlands, a tiny nation of 16 million but one of the wealthiest in the European Union. For more than a decade, the Dutch have been forging closer ties with Russia, emphasizing a growing trade and economic partnership while pointedly ignoring President Vladimir V. Putin’s regional ambitions,” said the post.

    But the question is, should government of nations and big corporate companies like Shell do whatever pleases them in securing their economic interests to the detriment of its various citizenry? Absolutely not! As emphasized in the article, “We have to draw a line somewhere,” said Meindert van der Kaaij, a silver-haired journalist, lamenting over those who died on Flight 17. “We must say something.”
    It is also imperative to note that if what is going in Europe, Russia and Ukraine (plus the oil giants in the middle), is happening in Africa or Asia, we are very sure all the major powers of the West will be crying foul and making so much noise. In fact, we are sure they will not even hesitate a moment to impose sanctions and carry out complete aerial raids/invasion (like the ones done by NATO), on any African country that is doing what Russia is doing in Ukraine and Europe.

    Zik Gbemre, JP
    National Coordinator

    We Mobilize Others to Fight for Individual Causes as if Those Were Our Causes

  2. #2 Zik Gbemre
    on Jul 18th, 2014 at 15:20

    July 18, 2014

    Dear Sir,

    THE CONSIDERATION/APPOINTMENT OF MR. OSAGIE OKUNBOR AS THE NEXT MD/COUNTRY CHAIR OF SHELL (SPDC) NIGERIA – A GRAVE MISTAKE AND UNWISE CHOICE IF EFFECTED.

    We still consider it necessary to write again, considering the sensitivity of the subject, so as to clear the air, put things in their right perspective and reiterate our stand.

    As we stated in our last letters dated April 29, 2014 and May 21, 2014, and June 16, 2014, the whole point of our write ups is that Mr. Osagie Okunbor is not qualified to occupy the position of Shell (SPDC) MD/Country, based on his ‘malnourished background’. For emphasis, Shell is a ‘technically-oriented’ International Oil Company (IOC) and as such, if we check all past Shell (SPDC) Managing Directors (MDs) there is no one that does not have an experience background in Exploration, Production and Engineering. Even the present Shell (SPDC) MD/Country Chair, Mr. Mutiu Sunmonu, was one time the Asset Manager of Area C West in Warri and later General Manager Production East in Port Harcourt before his elevation to a Director in Shell (SPDC).

    Even Royal Dutch Shell past Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) are mostly Engineers with technically sound expertise in Exploration and Production and Engineering-related fields as well. Some of them include: Jeroen Van Der Veer, a Dutch, took over as Shell CEO in 2004 from Sir Philip Beverly Watts, a British, who was actually a former MD of Shell Nigeria (from 1991 to 1994), Sir Philip (Phil) Beverly Watts succeeded Sir Mark Moody-Stuart in 2001; Peter Voser, a Swiss national, took over as Royal Dutch Shell CEO in 2009 from Jeroen Van Der Veer; then more recently, we have the present Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben Van Beurden, a Dutch, who took over from Peter Voser in January 2014. All of these Shell CEOs have good technical backgrounds in Engineering and other related technical field like Geophysics. This is because the business of Exploration and Production of oil and gas is a highly technical one that requires not just anyone. So how come a ‘novice’ in these areas should be projected and appointed by Shell Management as the next MD/Country Chair of Shell (SPDC) Nigeria?

    We consider it a very unwise move by Shell that Mr. Osagie Okunbor, who was said to be the former Vice President (VP) Human Resources, Shell (SPDC), is currently being considered/prepared to assume the position of the Managing Director (MD) and Country Chair of Shell (SPDC) Nigeria. We strongly advise that relevant authorities of Royal Dutch Shell and Shell (SPDC) Nigeria should give this issue raised the needed attention.

    Mr. Osagie Okunbor is said to be on cross-posting to The Hague, in other for him to be ‘groomed’ to occupy the said exalted position and take over from Mr. Mutiu Sunmonu, who will soon go on retirement.

    Again, without being prejudice or biased, we strongly fault this move/arrangement being planned by Shell Management to make Mr. Osagie Okunbor, the next MD/Country Chair of Shell (SPDC) Nigeria. Our reason for faulting this move and the candidacy of Mr. Osagie Okunbor for the said position in Shell (SPDC) is not on any ‘driven or sponsored agenda’ but strictly hinged on a number of undeniable facts that we can reliably attest to. But most importantly, our reason for faulting Mr. Osagie Okunbor candidacy is for the existing operations of Shell (SPDC) and its admired reputation in Nigeria, not to be rubbished in the mud.

    Like we said in previous letters, Mr. Osagie Okunbor is not a ‘technical’ person, neither is he an ‘operational’ person nor does he have the ‘corporate wisdom’ and ‘professional skills’ to manage/carry out the overwhelming demands of the office of the MD/Country Chair of Shell (SPDC), Nigeria. This is no exaggeration or are we trying to ridicule someone, but we are stating the obvious fact. Mr. Osagie Okunbor does not have the necessary “technical background experience” that makes one to be qualified or considered for the position of MD/Country Chair of Shell (SPDC), Nigeria. He has not worked in any of the Shell (SPDC) Asset Teams or even in any Production, Well Engineering and Surface Engineering Departments.

    In other words, Mr. Osagie Okunbor does not have the capacity, capability, wealth of technical background experience or the leadership prowess that are necessary traits/qualities that anyone being considered for the position of MD/Country Chair of Shell (SPDC), should have. Aside the complete lack of necessary technical, operational and leadership qualities, Mr. Osagie Okunbor is known to be a chronic ‘tribalist’ from a Edo State who does not have the qualities and ‘relationship-building’ skills to manage the socio-political and ‘inter-relations’ demands of the position of the MD/Country Chair of Shell (SPDC), Nigeria. Mr. Osagie Okunbor is known to be an ‘arrogant’ person that is also pompous and evidently ‘unintelligent’ in the management of people and assets. In fact, Mr. Osagie Okunbor can best be described as an ‘opportunist’ who does not have the ‘human face’ to relate with and manage Shell (SPDC) host communities and relevant stakeholders in Nigeria.

    To put it bluntly, Mr. Osagie Okunbor does not have the ‘community clout’ and the leadership qualities to even be considered for the position of the MD/Country Chair of Shell (SPDC), Nigeria. He does not have the capacity to carry relevant stakeholders along or manage Shell (SPDC) operations in Nigeria. Without mincing words, making Mr. Osagie Okunbor the next MD/Country Chair of Shell (SPDC), Nigeria, to take over from Mr. Mutiu Sunmonu, will be the ‘biggest’ mistake and a ‘corporate blunder’ Shell will ever make. It will be like Shell using its own hands to ‘destroy’ the company’s operations in Nigeria. Again, this is no exaggeration, but stating the bitter truth and the undeniable fact as we see it.

    Some persons in the Shell system have claimed that “Mr. Osagie Okunbor worked very hard at different levels of leadership”, but this is pointless because we know that it is Mr. Basil Omiyi and the Edo State connections in Shell (SPDC) that projected Mr. Osagie Okunbor to the position of the VP Human Resources. He did not attain to that position on merit or hard work, as they are trying to make us believe. The question is what job was he doing or has he done to be considered for the said position?

    This is Nigeria, where the oil, gas and condensate explorations and productions are not like what we find in other nations that Shell is operating in. The complexities, challenges and demands of the oil and gas industry in Nigeria are quite overwhelming; hence it requires a well-grounded technical and operational person with the leadership qualities and professionalism to adequately manage Shell (SPDC) operations in the country. This becomes necessary when we consider the fact that Shell (SPDC) is still the pioneers and the biggest International Oil Company (IOC) in Nigeria. Therefore, Shell should have someone that is well-grounded in the Nigerian oil and gas industry who completely understands the working/operational environment and can fully represent the interest of Shell in Nigeria as well as that of relevant host communities’ stakeholders.

    The Mr. Osagie Okunbor we know does not have what it takes to be MD/Country Chair of Shell (SPDC), Nigeria neither can he project Shell and its operations in Nigeria in good light. The Mr. Osagie Okunbor we know cannot make a ‘technical presentation’ on Shell operations in Nigeria to the satisfaction of relevant stakeholders. Even a technical presentation that is already prepared, we are sure Mr. Osagie Okunbor cannot present it. That is, if an already prepared technical presentation is given to Mr. Osagie Okunbor to present, he will not be able to defend such a presentation during question and answer sessions. He is a complete novice in this area. We also believe Mr. Osagie Okunbor will not be able to identify or differentiate between crude oil and condensate if presented with same. He cannot differentiate an oil/gas Well-Head from an ordinary Water bore hole. He does not have an idea of what a Gas Plant looks like; he does not have an idea of what a Rig Platform/Terminal looks like; he does not know what a Flow Line looks like, neither does he have an idea of what oil and gas facilities look like.

    Mr. Osagie Okunbor cannot, or even know how to manage/relate with host community stakeholders in the volatile Niger Delta region of Nigeria. He is also a very ‘unpopular’ Shell (SPDC) staff within and without host communities of the Niger Delta region. In fact, Mr. Osagie Okunbor’s inability to relate with people is also seen in the ‘cold’ relationship he has with and amongst his colleagues in Shell (SPDC) Nigeria. He is simply an ‘introvert’ who cannot relate well with people. Hence, he does not have the capacity to manage people. Mr. Osagie Okunbor will not be able to relate with and defend Shell policies and practices before the Nigerian National Assembly members like the Senate or anywhere else for that matter. He does not have the capacity as an individual, to defend and project Shell in good light before Nigerian law makers and policy implementers. A snub like Mr. Osagie Okunbor will only kill Shell (SPDC) business in Nigeria.

    Is this the kind of person Shell would want to handover its enormous oil, gas and condensate explorations and productions in Nigeria to? What happened to the admirable ‘high standard’ of Shell when it comes to the appointment of its personnel into ‘sensitive’ Management leadership positions in the company? Why is Shell trying to rubbish all the operational efforts the company has attained in the last couple of years, with this ill-advised appointment? Even if Mr. Osagie Okunbor is made to spend ten years in ‘training’ to prepare him for the post of MD/Country Chair of Shell (SPDC), he will still not be ready or make any difference. An African proverb says: “No matter how hard you wash a tiger’s skin, you will not be able to wash off its spots”. And “No matter how hard you bath a dog and wash its nose, the nose will remain black.” So, no matter the level of management training/preparedness given to Mr. Osagie Okunbor, he will never be ready or be able to fit into the position of MD/Country Chair of Shell (SPDC), Nigeria. It will be like fitting a square peg into a round hole. Besides, at his age, Mr. Osagie Okunbor cannot be able to adequately learn and assimilate new things.

    Nigeria is a place where ‘crazy standard’ often unheard of in other countries, are set for ‘personal reasons.’ The Nigerian we have today is what it is because those in authorities encourage the appointment of the ‘wrong persons’ into “sensitive positions”. When the wrong persons are placed in sensitive positions, we should not be surprised when things start going drastically wrong. Appointments in Nigeria in virtually all the sectors are usually based on sentiments, political affiliations, and nepotism and ethnic tendencies. The Shell system is not immune to this. In fact, there are abound several ‘cliques’ and ‘cults’ in the country (Nigeria) that one has to associate/belong to, to be able to climb the corporate ladder in the system. This is why there is so much ‘sycophancy’ and ‘praise singers’ in Nigeria who celebrate corruption and titles that are bought.

    As expected, our write ups on the above subject elicited some defensive responses from some quarters, which we believe were sponsored by Mr. Osagie Okunbor to justify his ill-advised consideration for the exalted position in Shell (SPDC). But we are not deterred by this, as all of our write ups/letters over the years are built on the foundations of what we stand and believe, and that is: To be the voice of the voiceless through our advocacy by praising that which is worthy of emulation and for the general good of the common masses, and to condemn (without fear or favour) that which is bad and not in the interest of the general masses no matter who or what is involved. But there are those who find it extremely difficult to ‘accept the TRUTH’ when presented with it.

    Agreed that some of the recipients of our write ups in our distribution list are no longer in the Shell system, as some persons have pointed out, but that does not mean they are no longer relevant nor have nothing to say/contribute to the progress of the Shell system and the development of our society at large. If anything, those outside the Shell system can ‘see well’ and be able to advise better on what will help the system. Just like somebody who is dancing cannot easily assess his/her dance steps, so also is an organization with its activities. And as long as Shell is still operating in Nigeria (be it onshore or deep-offshore), those (especially Nigerians) within and outside the Shell system still have a role to play towards the progress of the company and how their exploration/production activities affect us.

    It is people like Mr. Osagie Okunbor that are the reason why Warri and the Nigerian entity is what it is today. It is the Edo-connection in the system that is bent on acting out an evil-script to deprive Delta State of what is rightfully ours. For instance, how do we explain the fact that despite Shell (SPDC) divestment of their assets in its Western operations in Nigeria, the NPDC that took over these assets has remained in Benin, Edo State? Virtually all the operations (99.5%) of NPDC today are in Delta State, yet they want to operate from their Benin Head Office in Edo State; practically collecting and leaving what belongs to Warri, Delta State to Benin, Edo State. They cannot use Delta State resources to develop Edo State or make it look economically vibrant. What is Edo State contributing to the Niger Delta economy when compared to Delta State? These are some of the ‘injustices’ and anomalies that we are fighting to ‘correct’ in the polity.

    The position of the MD/Country Chair of Shell (SPDC), Nigeria, is one that is quite demanding and challenging and not meant for the lily-livered. As the MD/Country Chair of Shell (SPDC), Nigeria, one is expected amongst the mirage of other things; to manage host communities and its people/stakeholders, Colleagues, Shell Assets/facilities/Structures, the Nigerian Government at the Federal, State and Local Government levels, Relevant Government Agencies and government officials, etc. Mr. Osagie Okunbor does not have the relationship-building prowess to excel in these areas. He can only best occupy the position of one who pushes work-files from table-to-table but not the position of MD/Country Chair of Shell (SPDC). Throughout all his stay in Shell (SPDC) Nigeria, Mr. Osagie Okunbor has been doing ‘clerical jobs’ and administration.

    However, there are very good Nigerian Shell personnel that can adequately fit in better and excel as the MD/Country Chair of Shell (SPDC), Nigeria, by virtue of their capacities, capabilities, leadership qualities and wealth of background experiences in technical and operational fields of the oil and gas industry. This is the reason we do not understand why Shell(SPDC) should consider ‘a technical novice’ like Mr. Osagie Okunbor for the position of the company’s MD/Country Chair. When you have “highly technical and well-experienced” staff in Shell (SPDC) Nigeria, what then is the rationale behind the selection and consideration of Mr. Osagie Okunbor as the next Shell (SPDC) MD/Country Chair? It simply does not make sense. It shows that there is an element of ‘god-fatherism’ playing out in the selection/appointment of Mr. Osagie Okunbor as the possible next MD/Country Chair of Shell (SPDC).

    From what we can deduce, it is obvious that Mr. Osagie Okunbor is being projected for the position of Shell (SPDC) MD/Country Chair for ‘selfish’ interests of some individuals in the system.

    There are Nigerian Shell (SPDC) Personnel like Mr. Simbi Wabote, Mr. Boma Brown, Mr. Tony Attah, Mr. Vincent Osifeso, Mr. Obi Akosa and many others, who are very ‘resourceful’ Shell personnel that can adequately play the role of the MD/Country Chair of Shell (SPDC), Nigeria. These Nigerian Shell (SPDC) personnel have proven to have the ‘community clout’, humility, brilliance, technical and wealth of professional experience to handle the position of the MD/Country Chair of Shell (SPDC), Nigeria, very well. And most importantly, they are very familiar with the intricacies and complexities of the Nigerian oil and gas industry. Any of them can adequately represent the interest of Shell (SPDC) Nigeria in a good light. Such position as Shell (SPDC) MD/Country Chair should be given ‘strictly’ on merit and not for any hidden ‘interests’ of a godfather or any highly-exalted individual for that matter.

    It is on the above premise that we once again ask that Mr. Osagie Okunbor should not be considered in any way for the position of the MD/Country Chair of Shell (SPDC), Nigeria. Mr. Osagie Okunbor is not qualified to be made or even considered for the position of MD/Country Chair of Shell (SPDC). There are far better Nigerian Shell (SPDC) personnel that can fit in very well into the said position to continue the good works that will be left behind by Mr. Mutiu Sunmonu when he retires. We ask that this issue should be given the needed attention as requested. It is a worthy advice that should not be neglected.

    Zik Gbemre, JP
    National Coordinator

    We Mobilize Others to Fight for Individual Causes as if Those Were Our Causes

  3. #3 Zik Gbemre
    on Jul 18th, 2014 at 10:09

    July 18, 2014

    Dear Sir,

    ANOTHER REMINDER:
    ON WHY MR. OSAGIE OKUNBOR CANNOT BE CONSIDERED/APPOINTED AS THE NEXT MD/COUNTRY CHAIR OF SHELL (SPDC) NIGERIA.

    Having written severally on the above subject matter but we are yet to get any response from those concerned in Shell, we however, consider it necessary to write again, considering the sensitivity of the subject, so as to clear the air, put things in their right perspective and reiterate our stand.

    As we stated in our last letters dated April 29, 2014 and May 21, 2014, and June 16, 2014, the whole point of our write ups is that Mr. Osagie Okunbor is not qualified to occupy the position of Shell (SPDC) MD/Country, based on his ‘malnourished background’. For emphasis, Shell is a ‘technically-oriented’ International Oil Company (IOC) and as such, if we check all past Shell (SPDC) Managing Directors (MDs) there is no one that does not have an experience background in Exploration, Production and Engineering. Even the present Shell (SPDC) MD/Country Chair, Mr. Mutiu Sunmonu, was one time the Asset Manager of Area C West in Warri and later General Manager Production East in Port Harcourt before his elevation to a Director in Shell (SPDC). How then should a ‘novice’ in these areas be projected to be made the next MD/Country Chair of the company?

    We consider it a very unwise move by Shell that Mr. Osagie Okunbor, who was the former Vice President (VP) Human Resources, Shell (SPDC), is currently being trained/prepared to assume the position of the Managing Director (MD) and Country Chair of Shell (SPDC) Nigeria. We strongly advise that relevant authorities of Royal Dutch Shell and Shell (SPDC) Nigeria should give this issue raised the needed attention.

    Mr. Osagie Okunbor is said to be on cross-posting to The Hague, in other for him to be ‘groomed’ to occupy the said exalted position and take over from Mr. Mutiu Sunmonu, who will soon go on retirement.

    Again, without being prejudice or biased, we strongly fault this move/arrangement being planned by Shell Management to make Mr. Osagie Okunbor, the next MD/Country Chair of Shell (SPDC) Nigeria. Our reason for faulting this move and the candidacy of Mr. Osagie Okunbor for the said position in Shell (SPDC) is not on any ‘driven or sponsored agenda’ but strictly hinged on a number of undeniable facts that we can reliably attest to. But most importantly, our reason for faulting Mr. Osagie Okunbor candidacy is for the existing operations of Shell (SPDC) and its admired reputation in Nigeria, not to be rubbished in the mud.

    Like we said in previous letters, Mr. Osagie Okunbor is not a ‘technical’ person, neither is he an ‘operational’ person nor does he have the ‘corporate wisdom’ and ‘professional skills’ to manage/carry out the overwhelming demands of the office of the MD/Country Chair of Shell (SPDC), Nigeria. This is no exaggeration or are we trying to ridicule someone, but we are stating the obvious fact. Mr. Osagie Okunbor does not have the necessary “technical background experience” that makes one to be qualified or considered for the position of MD/Country Chair of Shell (SPDC), Nigeria. He has not worked in any of the Shell (SPDC) Asset Teams or even in any Production, Well Engineering and Surface Engineering Departments.

    In other words, Mr. Osagie Okunbor does not have the capacity, capability, wealth of technical background experience or the leadership prowess that are necessary traits/qualities that anyone being considered for the position of MD/Country Chair of Shell (SPDC), should have. Aside the complete lack of necessary technical, operational and leadership qualities, Mr. Osagie Okunbor is known to be a chronic ‘tribalist’ from a Edo State who does not have the qualities and ‘relationship-building’ skills to manage the socio-political and ‘inter-relations’ demands of the position of the MD/Country Chair of Shell (SPDC), Nigeria. Mr. Osagie Okunbor is known to be an ‘arrogant’ person that is also pompous and evidently ‘unintelligent’ in the management of people and assets. In fact, Mr. Osagie Okunbor can best be described as an ‘opportunist’ who does not have the ‘human face’ to relate with and manage Shell (SPDC) host communities and relevant stakeholders in Nigeria.

    To put it bluntly, Mr. Osagie Okunbor does not have the ‘community clout’ and the leadership qualities to even be considered for the position of the MD/Country Chair of Shell (SPDC), Nigeria. He does not have the capacity to carry relevant stakeholders along or manage Shell (SPDC) operations in Nigeria. Without mincing words, making Mr. Osagie Okunbor the next MD/Country Chair of Shell (SPDC), Nigeria, to take over from Mr. Mutiu Sunmonu, will be the ‘biggest’ mistake and a ‘corporate blunder’ Shell will ever make. It will be like Shell using its own hands to ‘destroy’ the company’s operations in Nigeria. Again, this is no exaggeration, but stating the bitter truth and the undeniable fact as we see it.

    Some persons in the Shell system have claimed that “Mr. Osagie Okunbor worked very hard at different levels of leadership”, but this is pointless because we know that it is Mr. Basil Omiyi and the Edo State connections in Shell (SPDC) that projected Mr. Osagie Okunbor to the position of the VP Human Resources. He did not attain to that position on merit or hard work, as they are trying to make us believe. The question is what job was he doing or has he done to be considered for the said position?

    This is Nigeria, where the oil, gas and condensate explorations and productions are not like what we find in other nations that Shell is operating in. The complexities, challenges and demands of the oil and gas industry in Nigeria are quite overwhelming; hence it requires a well-grounded technical and operational person with the leadership qualities and professionalism to adequately manage Shell (SPDC) operations in the country. This becomes necessary when we consider the fact that Shell (SPDC) is still the pioneers and the biggest International Oil Company (IOC) in Nigeria. Therefore, Shell should have someone that is well-grounded in the Nigerian oil and gas industry who completely understands the working/operational environment and can fully represent the interest of Shell in Nigeria as well as that of relevant host communities’ stakeholders.

    The Mr. Osagie Okunbor we know does not have what it takes to be MD/Country Chair of Shell (SPDC), Nigeria neither can he project Shell and its operations in Nigeria in good light. The Mr. Osagie Okunbor we know cannot make a ‘technical presentation’ on Shell operations in Nigeria to the satisfaction of relevant stakeholders. Even a technical presentation that is already prepared, we are sure Mr. Osagie Okunbor cannot present it. That is, if an already prepared technical presentation is given to Mr. Osagie Okunbor to present, he will not be able to defend such a presentation during question and answer sessions. He is a complete novice in this area. We also believe Mr. Osagie Okunbor will not be able to identify or differentiate between crude oil and condensate if presented with same. He cannot differentiate an oil/gas Well-Head from an ordinary Water bore hole. He does not have an idea of what a Gas Plant looks like; he does not have an idea of what a Rig Platform/Terminal looks like; he does not know what a Flow Line looks like, neither does he have an idea of what oil and gas facilities look like.

    Mr. Osagie Okunbor cannot, or even know how to manage/relate with host community stakeholders in the volatile Niger Delta region of Nigeria. He is also a very ‘unpopular’ Shell (SPDC) staff within and without host communities of the Niger Delta region. In fact, Mr. Osagie Okunbor’s inability to relate with people is also seen in the ‘cold’ relationship he has with and amongst his colleagues in Shell (SPDC) Nigeria. He is simply an ‘introvert’ who cannot relate well with people. Hence, he does not have the capacity to manage people. Mr. Osagie Okunbor will not be able to relate with and defend Shell policies and practices before the Nigerian National Assembly members like the Senate or anywhere else for that matter. He does not have the capacity as an individual, to defend and project Shell in good light before Nigerian law makers and policy implementers. A snub like Mr. Osagie Okunbor will only kill Shell (SPDC) business in Nigeria.

    Is this the kind of person Shell would want to handover its enormous oil, gas and condensate explorations and productions in Nigeria to? What happened to the admirable ‘high standard’ of Shell when it comes to the appointment of its personnel into ‘sensitive’ Management leadership positions in the company? Why is Shell trying to rubbish all the operational efforts the company has attained in the last couple of years, with this ill-advised appointment? Even if Mr. Osagie Okunbor is made to spend ten years in ‘training’ to prepare him for the post of MD/Country Chair of Shell (SPDC), he will still not be ready or make any difference. An African proverb says: “No matter how hard you wash a tiger’s skin, you will not be able to wash off its spots”. And “No matter how hard you bath a dog and wash its nose, the nose will remain black.” So, no matter the level of management training/preparedness given to Mr. Osagie Okunbor, he will never be ready or be able to fit into the position of MD/Country Chair of Shell (SPDC), Nigeria. It will be like fitting a square peg into a round hole. Besides, at his age, Mr. Osagie Okunbor cannot be able to adequately learn and assimilate new things.

    The Nigerian we have today is what it is because those in authorities encourage the appointment of the ‘wrong persons’ into “sensitive positions”. When the wrong persons are placed in sensitive positions, we should not be surprised when things start going drastically wrong. Appointments in Nigeria in virtually all the sectors are usually based on sentiments, political affiliations, and nepotism and ethnic tendencies. The Shell system is not immune to this. In fact, there are abound several ‘cliques’ and ‘cults’ in the country (Nigeria) that one has to associate/belong to, to be able to climb the corporate ladder in the system. This is why there is so much ‘sycophancy’ and ‘praise singers’ in Nigeria who celebrate corruption and titles that are bought.

    As expected, our write ups on the above subject elicited some defensive responses from some quarters, which we believe were sponsored by Mr. Osagie Okunbor to justify his ill-advised consideration for the exalted position in Shell (SPDC). But we are not deterred by this, as all of our write ups/letters over the years are built on the foundations of what we stand and believe, and that is: To be the voice of the voiceless through our advocacy by praising that which is worthy of emulation and for the general good of the common masses, and to condemn (without fear or favour) that which is bad and not in the interest of the general masses no matter who or what is involved. But there are those who find it extremely difficult to ‘accept the TRUTH’ when presented with it.

    Agreed that some of the recipients of our write ups in our distribution list are no longer in the Shell system, as some persons have pointed out, but that does not mean they are no longer relevant nor have nothing to say/contribute to the progress of the Shell system and the development of our society at large. If anything, those outside the Shell system can ‘see well’ and be able to advise better on what will help the system. Just like somebody who is dancing cannot easily assess his/her dance steps, so also is an organization with its activities. And as long as Shell is still operating in Nigeria (be it onshore or deep-offshore), those (especially Nigerians) within and outside the Shell system still have a role to play towards the progress of the company and how their exploration/production activities affect us.

    It is people like Mr. Osagie Okunbor that are the reason why Warri and the Nigerian entity is what it is today. It is the Edo-connection in the system that is bent on acting out an evil-script to deprive Delta State of what is rightfully ours. For instance, how do we explain the fact that despite Shell (SPDC) divestment of their assets in its Western operations in Nigeria, the NPDC that took over these assets has remained in Benin, Edo State? Virtually all the operations (99.5%) of NPDC today are in Delta State, yet they want to operate from their Benin Head Office in Edo State; practically collecting and leaving what belongs to Warri, Delta State to Benin, Edo State. They cannot use Delta State resources to develop Edo State or make it look economically vibrant. What is Edo State contributing to the Niger Delta economy when compared to Delta State? These are some of the ‘injustices’ and anomalies that we are fighting to ‘correct’ in the polity.

    The position of the MD/Country Chair of Shell (SPDC), Nigeria, is one that is quite demanding and challenging and not meant for the lily-livered. As the MD/Country Chair of Shell (SPDC), Nigeria, one is expected amongst the mirage of other things; to manage host communities and its people/stakeholders, Colleagues, Shell Assets/facilities/Structures, the Nigerian Government at the Federal, State and Local Government levels, Relevant Government Agencies and government officials, etc. Mr. Osagie Okunbor does not have the relationship-building prowess to excel in these areas. He can only best occupy the position of one who pushes work-files from table-to-table but not the position of MD/Country Chair of Shell (SPDC). Throughout all his stay in Shell (SPDC) Nigeria, Mr. Osagie Okunbor has been doing ‘clerical jobs’ and administration.

    However, there are very good Nigerian Shell personnel that can adequately fit in better and excel as the MD/Country Chair of Shell (SPDC), Nigeria, by virtue of their capacities, capabilities, leadership qualities and wealth of background experiences in technical and operational fields of the oil and gas industry. This is the reason we do not understand why Shell(SPDC) should consider ‘a technical novice’ like Mr. Osagie Okunbor for the position of the company’s MD/Country Chair. When you have “highly technical and well-experienced” staff in Shell (SPDC) Nigeria, what then is the rationale behind the selection and consideration of Mr. Osagie Okunbor as the next Shell (SPDC) MD/Country Chair? It simply does not make sense. It shows that there is an element of ‘god-fatherism’ playing out in the selection/appointment of Mr. Osagie Okunbor as the possible next MD/Country Chair of Shell (SPDC).

    From what we can deduce, it is obvious that Mr. Osagie Okunbor is being projected for the position of Shell (SPDC) MD/Country Chair for ‘selfish’ interests of some individuals in the system.

    There are Nigerian Shell (SPDC) Personnel like Mr. Simbi Wabote, Mr. Boma Brown, Mr. Tony Attah, Mr. Vincent Osifeso, Mr. Obi Akosa and many others, who are very ‘resourceful’ Shell personnel that can adequately play the role of the MD/Country Chair of Shell (SPDC), Nigeria. These Nigerian Shell (SPDC) personnel have proven to have the ‘community clout’, humility, brilliance, technical and wealth of professional experience to handle the position of the MD/Country Chair of Shell (SPDC), Nigeria, very well. And most importantly, they are very familiar with the intricacies and complexities of the Nigerian oil and gas industry. Any of them can adequately represent the interest of Shell (SPDC) Nigeria in a good light. Such position as Shell (SPDC) MD/Country Chair should be given ‘strictly’ on merit and not for any hidden ‘interests’ of a godfather or any highly-exalted individual for that matter.

    It is on the above premise that we once again ask that Mr. Osagie Okunbor should not be considered in any way for the position of the MD/Country Chair of Shell (SPDC), Nigeria. Mr. Osagie Okunbor is not qualified to be made or even considered for the position of MD/Country Chair of Shell (SPDC). There are far better Nigerian Shell (SPDC) personnel that can fit in very well into the said position to continue the good works that will be left behind by Mr. Mutiu Sunmonu when he retires. We ask that this issue should be given the needed attention as requested. It is a worthy advice that should not be neglected.

    Zik Gbemre, JP
    National Coordinator

    We Mobilize Others to Fight for Individual Causes as if Those Were Our Causes

  4. #4 Ivan Byrne
    on Mar 22nd, 2014 at 16:10

    There is more about Shell Oil and the Ukraine. Check out Shell Influence Exporter or any site that tracks global political contributions. That strange donation that Shell made to the Ukrainian Svoboda party and they have a facebook page with pictures of John McCain and a large nest of American Congressmen on it talking to Oleh. I did other searches on friends on that Svoboda facebook page and one traced to Amnesty International. I read Svoboda’s history and they claim to hate Poles, atheists, jews, Russians or any non-Ukrainians living there. They had only 5% of the Ukrainian vote until they got that huge donation from Shell in 2012. All of the American congressmen and leaders have received large contributions from Shell. Obama tops the list, the Republican national committee then the news sources like Fox and CNN make hundreds of millions of dollars from Shell money with their political attack ads. We are talking about a global pattern that has been in place for a long time.

    REPLY BY JOHN DONOVAN

    I have had a quick check on the Internet and have not yet found anything to substantiate your main allegation. Could you kindly provide links to any online information confirming that Shell has made a donation to the Ukrainian Svoboda party?

  5. #5 Apprin
    on Mar 17th, 2014 at 04:55

    Shell is currently going through a reorganization scam that is simply a legal way of discriminating against anyone over a particular age and also as a way of assuring that the good-old-boy network is alive and well.

    Age discrimination has been alleged and the H.R. division has put it to bed neatly while telling outright lies to complainants regarding the H.R. “investigation” results. Managers are not accountable for ruining the reputation of competent employees. Competency is NOT recognized; however, past relationships are the key to advancement by inexperienced and unethical managers. Skilled personnel are assigned tasks that keep them out of recognition while particular employees are synthetically elevated by managers.

    Shell is begging for litigation in the most recent “reorganization” in the U.S.

  6. #6 dave whitton
    on Mar 6th, 2014 at 22:55

    Unfortunately Ben van Beurden new Shell CEO entering the Scottish Independence debate on the side of the British Government establishment supported by George Osborne’s -The Chancellor’s father – Lord Howell- sponsored by Shell – has caused a growing boycott of Shell products in Scotland by pro – Independence supporters. Thousands of Scots well organised via the web will surely cause Mr “Beurden” to bear the “burden” of a sharp fall of in sales as a result of his biased comments.

  7. #7 Ivan Byrne
    on Mar 2nd, 2014 at 00:35

    I have been tracking some very odd political contributions from Royal Dutch Shell and Chevron in the Ukraine. Almost seems like they were the big money behind the recent political unrest. Have you guys done the same? I traced two political parties and several prominent politicians to Shell Oil contributions.

  8. #8 Abdul Ghafoor
    on Feb 6th, 2014 at 16:35

    This is to inform you that Mr David Greer, our previous CEO, contract was terminated last year. He spent too much money, was very expensive and could not do anything in the company. He was yelling at employees and insulting all the time and was like dictator. We are happy that he has left !

  9. #9 sabir
    on Feb 2nd, 2014 at 22:21

    hi, good morning.

    i had written earlier also about retailers in India. Shell have cheated me, i want to take it up legally. Can u help?

    REPLY BY JOHN DONOVAN

    Only by publishing your story, which we have already done, twice.

  10. #10 John Donovan
    on Jan 13th, 2014 at 11:21

    You need to contact Shell. We are not Shell, but an independent non-profit website monitoring their activities.

    Suggest you send an email to the Company Secretary of Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Mr Michiel Brandjes, asking him to put you into contact with the appropriate HR person at Shell to deal with your enquiry.

    [email protected]

    Kind regards
    John

  11. #11 ashish rupareliya
    on Jan 13th, 2014 at 09:04

    Hello sir,
    i would like to know contact detail of ms Sona Fernandez working as HR Manager with Royal Dutch Shell plc, UK.
    Ashish.
    +91 9898510984

  12. #12 Prashant Kumar
    on Jan 1st, 2014 at 15:53

    Sir, I wanta enquairee for one person Name- Dr.Osita Izunaso, UK/SHELL/090/63773 working as a petrochemical engeenear he is cheeted me,&he use my name. Company address- Coreib house 52, Lower leeson street ph.447010038570, its truth or not pl. give the answer as early as possible thankyou.

    REPLY BY JOHN DONOVAN: You need to contact Shell. We are not Shell, but an independent non-profit website monitoring their activities. Suggest you send an email to the Company Secretary of Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Mr Michiel Brandjes, asking him to put you into contact with the appropriate HR person at Shell to deal with your enquiry. [email protected]

  13. #13 Robert Lomas
    on Nov 28th, 2013 at 22:34

    I worked for Shell Chemicals Uk at the Carrington site from 1968-1972 and paid into the pension fund.I reached retirement age next year and believe I am due a pension.Who do I contact to discuss and update with my personal details.

  14. #14 markfadeyev
    on Jun 25th, 2010 at 14:25

    Dear friends, I’ve been given an order for translation from Russian into English. The text relates to DoorHan Centre. There is a reference to the President of Royal Dutch Shell Corporation Anry de …(unfortunately, I don’t know the spelling of your President’s name). Could you possibly advise me on that as well as on his famous saying, something like “Ability to learn quicker than your competitors is the only reliable source of superiority over them” (translated word for word from Russian). Really I’d be much obliged if you could help me find the original word as pronounced by the President of Royal Dutch Shell, plc.
    My e-mail: [email protected]
    Thank you,
    Mark Fadeyev
    Rusian Interpreter
    P.S.: In case you need any help in the Russian language, do not hesitate to contact me.

  15. #15 SafetyPro
    on Feb 2nd, 2010 at 14:32

    Safety is #1! Goal zero! Life Saving Rules! I’m an executive and I talk out my ass!

    When is discrimination ethical? When it is practiced at Shell.

    As a 22-year employee white male hetrosexual with a graduate degree in environmental science at Shell I hate to say it but I would not do it all over again. How I wish I had taken the Exxon offer when I graduated. However, if you are gay or minority and/or female (bonus points!) with no experience, no or very little education,(not required!) I would highly suggest that you apply immediately. You could be my boss. In fact, you are my boss.

    First, there is no career ladder for HSE professionals at Shell. That leaves plenty of room for discrim…I mean, the holy grail of every business, no, not profit you sexist racist…diversity!

    What little opportunity there is to advance is given to unqualified climbers. The unwritten rule: white hetrosexual male health, safety or environmental professionals, you do the work but don’t expect advancement . We have the positions but the company insists that skin color or sexual preference is more important than competency. Oh, and when the regulators arrive, save those emails from the boss! You will still be scapegoated but at least you will win your lawsuit and get your job back after your boss has been promoted or cashes out. What HSE VP just got a package after losing 2 employee lawsuits over ethics violations? Oh? He didn’t lose his job! How interesting.

    I was so proud to get a Shell offer 22 years ago. It WAS the best and the brightest. Now? There might be one Certified Safety Professional in our entire division. At least my incompetent boss has a bright future.

  16. #16 caineej
    on Oct 28th, 2009 at 20:45

    As a Shell/Motiva retiree, I understand there are discounts available to retirees (I understand Verizon and Sprint offer discounts among others). Current employees can access a listing of discounts through a company intranet website – not accessble thru the internet. I cannot find a website that is accessible by retirees listing all discounts available and how to obtain them. Can you help?

  17. #17 TomPain
    on Oct 4th, 2009 at 23:22

    The article on Walter Van de Vijver was almost sympathetic. He was the designated hatchet man and he loved it. Everywhere he went lay-offs and destruction followed. He was fired because he wrote in an e-mail to Watts that he was “tired of lying” about the reserves. He intentionally lied and screwed the company and the stock-holders hoping he could get promoted and dump it on some other poor sucker before it blew up. This was where all of the pressure came from to jack up the reserves numbers. I loved reading about how he was forced out, almost makes it worth while. Evidently he brought his great charm and warmth to his new job, so much so that he got fired from the a company he founded.

  18. #18 Steve
    on Jul 9th, 2009 at 12:49

    Wise use of money in troubled times? Just met a 60 year old senior exec managing the biz jets for Shell who’s going to retire this year but now getting trained on the latest high tech biz jet. How is it that Shell can remove pay increases, monitor employees use of mobile phones and yet have plans to spend 300 million on new Dassault 7X biz jets for their Rotterdam department and continue to run a regional airline in Canada? I thought this company was in the business of oil, not the airlines. Why not be competitive and do what BP has done and use a time share plan like NetJets?

  19. #19 ciomara de jesus rodrigues
    on Dec 18th, 2008 at 14:05

    I don’t speak English.

    I’m from BRASIL.

    SHELL CONTAMINATED MY FARM, MY WATER AND MY LIFE.

    contamination with DRIN’S DIOXINA E FURANOS AND A LOTE MORE …

    See my Blog:- http://www.casoshell.blogspot.com

    CIOMARA (Ciomara De Jesus Rodrigues)

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