Special to the NNPA from the Global Information Network –
In newly-released U.S. embassy cables from Nigeria, a Shell Oil executive was said to have shared with the Ambassador examples of corruption in the Nigerian government that nearly defied belief.
Record requests for bribes in the multi-millions were being sought by government officials and their family members, the executive, Ann Pickard, reportedly informed the U.S. official.
According to the cables, released by WikiLeaks, the $20 million bribe for one signature on one document was made by the Nigerian Attorney General – who asked for $2 million up front and $18 million the following day.
Former president Olusegun Obasanjo reportedly received more than $10 billion for National Power Projects to improve the generation, transmission and supply of electricity but none were completed by the end of his tenure.
Pickard expressed optimism that “the nationalism card was cooling.” Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, the new state oil head, was a graduate of U.S. universities, she said, and although he used terms like “nationalism” and “Chavez” (referring to Venezuela Pres. Hugo Chavez), she thought he could be steered in the right direction.
Meanwhile, Friends of the Earth International and Amnesty International filed an official complaint charging Shell with using discredited and misleading information to blame the majority of oil pollution on saboteurs in its Niger Delta operations. The complaint was filed with United Kingdom and Netherlands government contact points for the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.
“Several studies place the bulk of the blame for oil spills in the Niger Delta on the doorsteps of the oil companies; particularly Shell,” said Friends director Nnimmo Bassey, adding: “They should take responsibility and clean up the mess they made in our country.”
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