Shell ‘paying tens of millions to Nigerian security forces’

Shell is paying Nigerian security forces tens of millions of dollars a year to guard their sites in the Niger delta, according to reports.

The oil giant spent 40pc of its almost $1bn worldwide security budget between 2007 and 2009 on protecting staff and buildings in the volatile African region, the Guardian claimed, citing leaked internal data.

Shell also allegedly maintains a 1,200-strong internal police force in Nigeria, plus a network of plainclothes informants.

“The scale of Shell’s global security expenditure is colossal,” Ben Amunwa of London-based oil watchdog Platform told the newspaper.

The documents suggest that Shell’s worldwide security costs almost doubled in the three-year period, coinciding with the rise of armed insurgency in the Niger delta.

In 2008, 62 Shell employees or contractors were kidnapped and three killed in the region.

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