US promises to help fight crude theft in Gulf of Guinea

Navy patrol training exercise.

Navy patrol training exercise.

*As govt identifies banks, financial institutions with stolen crude funds

Oscarline Onwuemenyi

04 August 2015, Sweetcrude, Abuja – ABUJA – The United States of America has promised to help the present administration fight crude oil theft in the Gulf of Guinea.

The promise was made by members of the US Congress who met with President Muhammadu Buhari during a visit to the Presidential Villa on Monday, led by Republican Congressman Darell Issa.

Issa, a former chair of the House Oversight Committee in the US House of Representatives, assured President Buhari that the United States will support Nigeria against Boko Haram by providing training, intelligence and military platforms.

“We look forward to helping you in many ways to end the Boko Haram insurgency and the theft of crude oil in the Gulf of Guinea,’’ he said.

Speaking during an audience with the congressmen, President Buhari disclosed that his administration has taken efforts to recover looted Nigerian funds a step further to include the identification of banks, financial institutions and countries in which payments for stolen Nigerian crude oil were deposited.

The President stressed the determination of his administration to root out corruption in the nation’s oil and gas industry.

He acknowledged the support and cooperation given his administration by the international community in gathering all required intelligence for tracing and recovering stolen national resources.

“We are getting cooperation from the international community, including information on ships that take crude oil from Nigeria and change direction, or pour their contents into other ships mid-stream.

“Some monies were paid to individual accounts. We are identifying the financial institutions and countries that are involved.

“I have been assured that when we get all our documents together, the United States and other countries will treat our case with sympathy,’’ the President told the Congressmen led by Rep. Darrel Issa.

President Buhari also told the Congressmen that his Administration will encourage more regular meetings of the Nigeria-United States Bi-National Commission.

He said the Commission could serve as a more useful platform for the promotion of bilateral trade and economic relations as well as joint cooperation in the war against terrorism.

About the Author