Current status


On 22 December 2020, the Uwema Aminigboko Community and others from the Abua/Odual area of Rivers State, Nigeria, filed a specific instance against Daewoo Engineering & Construction Co., Ltd. (a Korean-based construction company) and Daewoo Nigeria Limited (the Korean company’s Nigerian subsidiary) (together, ‘Daewoo’).

The complaint concerns Daewoo’s 2018 contract with the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (‘Shell Nigeria’) and Daewoo’s establishment of a fabrication yard and related infrastructure for an oil and gas development project. The complainants allege multiple violations of the OECD Guidelines and Nigerian laws, including the company’s forceful occupation of and construction on indigenous land and its failure to fulfill a quota to recruit a third of its workforce from local indigenous people. Daewoo also allegedly improperly discharged waste onto the local community‘s lands. The complainants also assert that Daewoo operated with support of heavily armed security forces and declined to engage or consult with the Chief/Head of the landowning families and other community organizations. The complainants also assert that Daewoo has not engaged in any meaningful consultation with the community to obtain consent for its operations.

The complainants are seeking mediation from the Korean NCP to facilitate dialogue and help resolve the issues.

Relevant OECD Guidelines


On 28 December 2020, the Korean NCP received the complaint. However, the NCP requested the complainants to file the complaint again since they did not use a particular format. The complainants resubmitted their complaint on 5 January 2021.

The Korean NCP released its initial assessment in Korean. The complainant formally requested the release of the English version of the initial assessment.

On 18 September 2021, the Korean NCP issued the English version of its initial assessment in which the NCP decided that the issues raised did not merit further examination, including additional investigation and mediation, and closed the complaint. In its decision, the NCP noted parallel proceedings in the Nigerian courts dealing with the issues raised in the complaint and the power of the lead applicant in the NCP complaint to represent the community. On the latter point, the NCP concluded that it was “unable to judge whether the respondent has consulted with those in authority.”

The NCP also considered that Daewoo “does not seem to be in a position to exert its influence on the relevant matters” over Shell Nigeria due to a change in the project owner of the facilities in question. The NCP further noted another NCP complaint submitted by the complainant against Shell Nigeria to the Dutch NCP, in which Shell Nigeria had declined to participate in the NCP’s good offices. The NCP concluded: “According to the materials submitted, [Shell Nigeria], which is authorized to make decisions on the issues raised in the complaint, has declined to participate in the Dutch NCP’s good offices procedure and the respondent does not seem to be in a position to exert its influence on the matters concerned. Furthermore, the respondent stated that it has established and implemented capacity building and environmental policies including compensation and employment of local residents through consultations with representatives of the community, and is committed to continuing consultations with the community in accordance with court rulings and the project owner’s good offices.” On this basis, the Korean NCP concluded that consideration of the complaint would not further the purposes and effectiveness of the OECD Guidelines.

OECD Watch believes that the Korean NCP made numerous procedural errors in its decision. In particular, the NCP misinterpreted several admissibility criteria, including whether the complainant had a valid “interest” in the complaint because it may have had a conflicting legal (land) claim for the land in question, whether the issues were “substantiated” because they were still pending in the Nigerian courts, whether there was a valid link to the company because it had (according to the NCP) little leverage over the Nigerian company causing the harms, and that because Shell Nigeria had refused to participate in the Dutch NCP’s complaint, the Korean NCP thought Daewoo had no ability to encourage any better approach in the present complaint.

On 7 June 2022, the complainant issued a response to the Korean NCP’s initial assessment, expressing their dissatisfaction with the closing of the complaint.

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