President Jonathan pleads British assistance to stem oil theft
LONDON – President Goodluck Jonathan has called on the British government to help stem the incidence of crude oil theft in Nigeria’s Niger Delta.
President Jonathan made the call when he paid David Cameron, the British Prime Minister a courtesy visit at 10 Downing street. he also congratulated Cameron on his emergence as chairman of the G8.
Nigeria produces an average 2.2 million barrels of crude oil per day and loses about 10% to theft, largely referred to as illegal bunkering.
President Jonathan called for sanctions on all those involved in the illegal trade, noting that the G8 has a role to play in putting an end to the crime.
He challenged the group of industrialised nations to take a stand similar to the one taken on money laundering by public office holders
Jonathan also called on the G-8 to look into the issue of proliferation of small arms and light weapons in Africa, and long term peace keeping support for Mali, a theme that he took across the Channels to Paris, where he later held talks with President Francois Hollande.
According to him, there is the need to sustain stability in Mali after the military intervention, otherwise, the rebels may adopt guerrilla warfare – killings and suicide bombings, thus continuing their terrorist activities by other means.
While noting the cordial relations between Nigeria and the UK, the President expressed commitment to promoting trade and investment between both countries.
“We have a robust relationship in terms of trade, because trade between African nations are more difficult than trade with other countries. Without robust trading the economy cannot develop because whatever you do either primary production or industrial, you need trade facilitation,” Jonathan said.
Responding, Cameron, said both nations had a close relationship based on successful trade and investment which would double in the coming years.
Cameron also said that the two countries would continue to build on their strong diplomatic and political relations as well as aid and development partnership