Tag Archives: violence

WikiLeaks: Nigerian Oil: Bribes and piracy part 1


Selected Extracts from the WikiLeaks site on oil concerns,piracy, bribery and worries about Yar’Adua’s declining health:

(S/NF) SUMMARY: Shell's regional executive vice president for
Africa Ann Pickard and government relations representative Peter 
Francis met with the Ambassador on January 27 in Abuja and provided
an update on problems in the oil and gas sector. Pickard said that
things were going from bad to worse, especially the security
situation. She said that Nigeria now had one of the highest negative
ratings for maritime operations, creating problems for Shell in
hiring oil tankers to load, as tanker operators will work only under
highly selective conditions. Last year there were about 80 piracy
attacks on land and water combined. This year already 15 have been
tallied, which includes 3 for Shell and 3 for Exxon. On corruption,
Pickard said that Nigerian entities control the lifting of many oil
cargoes and there are some "very interesting" people lifting oil.
Oil buyers would pay NNPC GMD Yar'Adua, Chief Economic Advisor Yakubu 
and the First Lady Turai Yar'Adualarge bribes to lift oil. Pickard
also reported an instance of the Attorney General Aondoakaa allegedly
soliciting a $20 million bribe to sign a document. The International
Oil Companies (IOC) are quite concerned about the "very flawed" new
petroleum sector energy bill. The IOCs will be asking U.S., Dutch,
and U.K. COMs to convey points on the bill to GON policymakers.
Pickard agreed that the President's health is a guessing game. She
said that in her recent meetings with Yar'Auda he seems alert, though
very drawn in the face, thin, and frail. Her information is that the
President was not in danger of dying soon, but also was unlikely to
ever fully recover from his ailments. (Note: see septel on oil/energy
sector issues for the Ambassador's meeting with the new Minister of
Petroleum Resources. End Note). END SUMMARY.
- - - - - - - - -
FROM BAD TO WORSE
- - - - - - - - - 

3. (C) The Ambassador took the opportunity to share with Pickard that
the Mission was in the midst of completing its Strategic Plan and
asked Pickard where she thought Nigeria was headed. Pickard said that
things were going from bad to worse, especially in terms of security.
She said that Nigeria now had the highest negative rating for
maritime security, creating problems for Shell in hiring oil tankers
to load; tankers will work only under highly selective conditions.
She also noted that late on the evening of Saturday January 17,
Nigerian militants attacked and boarded two vessels at a Shell crude
oil loading platform in Bonny and took eight crew members hostage.
Standard procedure on the tanker was followed: the ship went into
immediate lock down; there were no injuries or fatalities from the
boarding. The eight Nigerian crew members who were taken hostage were
later released. The pirates who went through the sections of the
boat to which they were able to gain access, smashing and stealing
computers, electronics, and personal items of the crew members. The
second vessel was a tug boat towing a supply vessel from Bonny to
Calabar. Last year there were about 80 incidents of piracy; this
year already 15 had been tallied, which includes 3 for Shell and 3
for Exxon. GON officials have told Shell to "hire more security."
The price of doing business in the oil and gas sector in Nigeria
continues to climb she concluded. [Note: The International Maritime
Bureau (IMB), a division of the International Chamber of Commerce -
www icc-ccs org - reports that the waters off the Gulf of Guinea
(Nigeria) remain the second worst, with 40 incidents in 2008 to the
Horn of Africa (Somalia) with 42 recorded incidents. The IMB notes
that in 2009 the Horn of Africa will be more intense as Spring comes
due to the large number of foreign warships in the region on active
patrol to ensure the safety and security of vessels. The same
increased security is not expected for Nigeria in 2009. End Note]

(to be continued)

Is the multitude of security agencies a waste of time and resources?


The chairman of the Police Service Commission has slammed numerous Nigerian security agencies – including the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) – as ‘useless’ at the opening of a three-day biennial retreat in Ibom State. Mr Parry Osayande, who has been chairman since April, 2008 described the groups as “white elephant security agencies”.

Osayande argued that the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) had been undermined in effectiveness due to numerous security agencies, and that the NPF has been left lacking in funds and governmental support. His views were backed by the minister of Police Affairs, Alhaji Adamu Waziri, but received criticism from the Minister of Interior – Capt Emmanuel Iheanacho. Iheanacho hit back saying that it would be impossible to manage the security agencies in Nigeria under just one organisation.

The NPF has been criticised for deep seated corruption and violence. In 2008, a news story about the murder of a driver who refused to pay policemen the expected ’20-naira-checkpoint-bribe’surprised few. The brutality of police in Nigeria seems so engrained in the culture that most do not expect anything less than violence in return for non-cooperation.

So, is the chairman missing the point? Is it a lack of funds and an excess of parallel security agencies the real problem, or something much more complex?