Oil, GMOs and Neoliberalism: an interview with Nnimmo Bassey

Amandla Radio, June 2014

Nnimmo Bassey is a renowned Nigerian environmental activist, well known for his work campaigning against the practices of multinational oil corporations in Nigeria. It has been estimated that spills equivalent to the size of that from the Exxon Valdez have occurred in the Niger Delta every year over the past 50 years.

In 1993, Bassey co-founded Environmental Rights Action (ERA), a Nigerian advocacy NGO dealing with environmental human rights issues in the country. Environmental Rights Action is also known as Friends of the Earth Nigeria. In 2010, Bassey was awarded the Right Livelihood Award for his work, otherwise known as the ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’.

In this interview, he talks about the impact of oil drilling and oil spills in the Niger Delta, the threat that GMOs pose to African agriculture and how Africans across the continent can create a front against the extractive industries as well as against neoliberal approaches to environmentalism.