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Wednesday, 7 September 2011

WikiLeaks names ex-first lady, others as oil thieves

New United States Government cables published by whistleblower, WikiLeaks, have identified a former first lady (names withheld), unnamed highly placed Nigerians, senior military officers, Lebanese, Iranian, British and American businessmen as oil thieves. The cables claim that they all played active roles in the illegal bunkering business in the Niger Delta.

The cables also put the huge loss that the country sustained from illegal bunkering at about 91million barrels of oil per annum.

áwon olé...continue reading...




The three cables containing the revelations were written by US diplomats in Abuja and Lagos and sent to their home governments between November 2004 and November 2009.

The first cable is titled, “Niger Delta: Guns and thugs rule the land”, the second, “Captain Crusader versus bunkering bandits”; and the third, “The fundamentals of illegal oil bunkering in Nigeria.”

The cables detail the security, political, and humanitarian situation in the Niger Delta based on field visits by US political and economic officers and the interviews they conducted with military officers and key players in the illegal business.

One of the cables says, “Illegal oil bunkering runs rampant in the region. Mission reporting has linked shady oil deals to XYZ (a former first lady). Ijaw and Itsekiri youths and elders accuse unnamed high-ranking politicians in Abuja. Unconfirmed reports claim that Lebanese nationals possibly funding the terrorist groups Hamas and Hizbollah, the Russian Mafia, and drug cartels are (also) involved.”

In another cable, a senior military officer who spoke to the Americans likened illegal oil bunkering in Nigeria to the drug trade in Colombia.

While describing how illegal bunkerers operate, one of the cables says, “A tanker (mother ship) anchors approximately 50 miles offshore during daylight to avoid being spotted by Navy coastal patrols. Arrangements are made for villagers to tap into the Delta’s vast network of pipelines, usually in the swamps, and fill small oil barges. At nightfall the mother ship moves closer to shore, where the barges are pulled alongside and the crude is transferred, allowing the tanker to slip away without detection.

“This process of “bunkering” is what has given the business of oil-theft in Nigeria its common name. Aerial and satellite photography confirm the loading of hundreds of barges with oil each day. The barge cargoes transfer to smaller tankers, many of which foreigners operate under false names and registrations. U.S., U.K., and Lebanese citizens participate in this trade.”

One of the key players in the region who also spoke to the Americans said that “powerful men from Abuja” hired locals who worked with oil company employees, security forces and militants to carry out the illegal trade.

According to the cable, “Higher ranking military officers or civilian leaders protected barges of illegal oil against attacks by militants before the amnesty by “settling” (paying) the militants in advance. Operators of tankers and tanker terminals, including employees of major international oil companies and local contractors, allegedly colluded in many illegal transactions.”

The cables claim that Nigeria loses billions per year to oil theft, lamenting that individuals benefitting from the sale of stolen oil do not re-invest in oil exploration or production.

One says, “While some of the revenues may filter down to inhabitants by way of pay-offs, the bulk of earnings are diverted outside the country into the international bank accounts of the beneficiaries.

“Oil theft siphons off the “life-blood” of the Nigerian economy for private gain before taxation or crediting to the national account. Various experts have estimated the volume of oil theft at between 100,000 and 250,000 barrels per day or as much as 91 million barrels per year. This amounts to billions of dollars in lost revenue for the Nigerian treasury every year, regardless of the price of oil on any given day. (NB: At current oil prices the annual revenue loss is between $2.9 and $7.3 billion. END NOTE.)”zzzzzzz

The diplomats who filed the cables wrote that though government officials had repeatedly requested U.S. assistance to prevent bunkering, it was a problem that Nigeria could and should solve.

“The reality, however, is that most oil bunkering is not a global phenomenon readily susceptible to international deterrence, but a largely Nigerian development that requires domestic resolution. No other, major oil-producing country, to our knowledge, loses as much revenue from illicit oil bunkering as Nigeria, largely because the political elite, militants, and communities profit from such operations. Tackling this problem will require resolute political will from many sectors of Nigerian society.”

Source: Punch

12 comments:

US Considers GEJ Corrupt and Innefective said...

Obfuscation on the issue coming from the Presidency in

3...

2...

1...

I mean, really, is this a surprise?

Anonymous said...

I know Nkoyo Ibori was a Bunkerer, Which other First Lady are they talking about?

US Considers GEJ Corrupt and Innefective said...

@Anonymous... You do realize that bunkering does not originate from anonymous wells.

It comes from the wells owned by people who have licenses, they turn a blind eye to the practice because that brings in raw cash that is devoid of taxes, declarations, etc....

Let's see who has licenses / interest in licenses:

Patience
Maryam
Mariam
Turai

Now what was the question again?

Anonymous said...

Why tell us, is that supposed to incite us. You dialed a wrong number wikileaks......we are a bunch of spineless idiots led by fools,smart fools.

Anonymous said...

I'm shocked! *sarcasm*

Anonymous said...

linda why name withheld. you dey fear?
abi na wikileaks withhold the name?

MY NAIJA LIFESTYLE said...

der's no need witholdin d name of d said former first lady, it doesnt sound like its a state first lady considerin d act. but hw many of our "former first ladies" are alive? cos i know no dead body can lay claims on property on dis earth.
Naked we came, naked we shall...

Anonymous said...

I am happy that after fifty (50!) years Nigerians are just beginning to understand the level of their idiocy, and in recognising who they truly are, have now resorted to calling themselves fools and idiots. Some people fought a civil war because they wouldn't willingly allow their destiny to be in the hands of idiots. Nigerians thought the losers in that war would suffer alone. But now it is biting them as well, and all they have are complaints. They can blow all the grammer they want but until the ideals muted by those guys are revisited, the problems will only get worse.
The Biafrans refused to sell off the oil rights to USSR to guarantee themselves victory in that war. Now the villagers along with the victors are colluding with foreigners to siphone off their birthright for free. The civil war was fought in vain but have the Biafrans been vindicated? I would say a resounding yes! Today no one can accuse the Biafrans who fought that war of being spineless idiots. They fought for what they believed in. They had tremendous foresight. They saw this coming. They lost but have retained their dignity and pride. But even today Nigerians still refuse to address the genesis of their problems. They prefer to label anyone who talks as a tribalist and enemy of the nation. When a nation of problem solvers remains marginalized in a country with a huge problem such as this, you can wish all you want for a solution, but alas...
But the question remains: Who are the true enemies of Nigeria? Answer this question and Nigeria's problem is solved.

Kanyinsoolaa said...

that one na news? maybe to them sha... hehehe... oil bunkering by top officials is no news o so they should find something interesting n new to say!

Well to anonymous... with all due respect, i dont believe splitting Nigeria or the success of biafra would resolve our problems in Nigeria.. its way deeper and more complicated than that... so lets move forward ehn... and see how it turns out!...

Anonymous said...

@ Anon 8:14am Well said!

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:14. A modern day Biafra will be so divided against itself. Stop living on the idealism of the past. Half of the people bunkering have igbo origins. When you get that modern day Biafra, trust me your resources will be mismanaged.

Anonymous said...

na stella...you can google it yourself. No need hiding what is on the internet!

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