(Bloomberg) -- Shell Plc’s proposed sale of its onshore oil business in Nigeria should be blocked by the government to ensure adequate safeguards for human rights, said civil society groups led by Amnesty International.

Shell reached a $1.3 billion deal in January to sell the assets to Nigerian-owned Renaissance Africa Energy. The deal, which would fulfill Shell’s long-term goal of exiting operations in the challenging Niger Delta, is still awaiting approval from the country’s President Bola Tinubu.

Authorities in the West African nation should not allow the transaction to proceed until a series of safeguards are put in place, 40 groups led by London-based Amnesty International group said in a report published on Monday. The groups want an assessment of environmental pollution around the assets, a guarantee of clean-up funds, and consultation with local communities. 

A number of oil deals in the Niger Delta are already on hold and optimism that Tinubu’s election last year would expedite deals in the sector have since waned. Exxon Mobil Corp., Eni SpA and Equinor ASA are also waiting for regulatory approval to finalize the sale of Nigerian assets.

The Renaissance consortium that agreed to acquire Shell’s assets consists of ND Western Limited, Aradel Holdings Plc, FIRST Exploration and Petroleum Development Company Limited, the Waltersmith Group and the Petrolin Group.

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.