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Re: WikiLeaks cables: Shell boasts it has infiltrated Nigerian government

Released on 2012-03-01 23:00 GMT

Email-ID 1062505
Date 2010-12-08 22:58:01
I'm sure Shell Corporate Security is hating life right about now.

I would not be surprised to see a few Nigerian govt officials to be
locked up or blown up as a result.

Since Shell has a U.S. footprint, the FCPA DOJ investigations will be
following suit.

MNC worst nightmare....

Fred Burton wrote:
> WikiLeaks cables: Shell boasts it has infiltrated Nigerian government
> US embassy cables reveal top executive's claims that company 'knows
> everything' about key decisions in oil-rich Niger Delta
> The oil giant Shell claimed it
> has inserted its staff into all key ministries of the Nigerian
> government, giving it access to politicians' every move in the oil-rich
> Niger Delta, according to a leaked US diplomatic cable.
> The company's top executive in Nigeria
> told US diplomats that Shell
> had seconded employees to every relevant department and so knew
> "everything that was being done in those ministries". She boasted that
> the Nigerian government had "forgotten" about the extent of Shell's
> infiltration and were unaware of how much the company knew about its
> deliberations.
> The cache of secret dispatches from Washington's embassies in Africa
> also revealed that the Anglo-Dutch oil firm swapped intelligence with
> the US, in one case providing US diplomats with the names of Nigerian
> politicians it suspected of supporting militant activity and requesting
> information from the US on whether the militants had acquired
> anti-aircraft missiles.
> Other cables rreveal:
> • US diplomats fear that Kenya could erupt in violence worse than that
> experienced after the election in 2008 unless rampant government
> corruption is tackled.
> • America asked Uganda to let it know if its army intended to commit war
> crimes based on US intelligence – but did not try to prevent war crimes
> taking place.
> • Washington's ambassador to the troubled African state of Eritrea
> described its president, Isaias Afwerki, as a cruel "unhinged dictator"
> who's regime was "one bullet away from implosion".
> The latest revelations came on a day that saw hackers sympathetic to
> WikiLeaks target Mastercard and Visa over their decision to block
> payments to the whistleblowers' website who's founder, Julian Assange,
> spent a second night in prison after a judge refused him bail ahead of
> an extradition hearing to face questioning over sexual assault charges
> in Sweden.
> Campaigners tonight said the revelation about Shell in Nigeria
> demonstrate the tangled links between the oil firm and politicians in
> the country where, despite billions of dollars in oil revenue, 70% of
> people live below the poverty line.
> Cables from Nigeria show how Ann Pickard
> ,
> then Shell's vice-president for sub-Saharan Africa, sought to share
> intelligence with the US government on militant activity and business
> competition in the contested Niger Delta — and how, with some
> prescience, she seemed reluctant to open up because of a suspicion the
> US government was "leaky".
> But that did not prevent Pickard disclosing the company's reach into
> Nigerian government when she met US ambassador Robin Renee Sanders,
> recorded in a confidential memo from the American embassy in Abuja on 20
> October 2009.
> At the meeting Pickard related how the company had obtained a letter
> showing that the Nigerian government had invited bids for oil
> concessions from China. She said the Minister of State for Petroleum
> Resources Odein Ajumogobia had denied the letter had been sent but Shell
> knew similar correspondence had taken place with China and Russia
> .
> The ambassador reported: "She said the GON [government of Nigeria] had
> forgotten that Shell had seconded people to all the relevant ministries
> and that Shell consequently had access to everything that was being done
> in those ministries."
> Nigeria is Africa's leading oil producer and the eighth biggest exporter
> in the world, accounting for 8% of US oil imports. Although a recent UN
> report largely exonerated the company, critics accuse Shell, the biggest
> operator in the delta, and other companies, of causing widespread
> pollution and environmental damage
> in the region. Militant groups engaged in hostage-taking and sabotage
> have proliferated.
> The WikiLeaks disclosure was today seized on by campaigners as evidence
> of Shell's vice-like grip on the country's oil wealth. "Shell and the
> government of Nigeria are two sides of the same coin," said Celestine
> AkpoBari, programme officer for Social Action Nigeria.
> "Shell is everywhere. They have an eye and an ear in every ministry of
> Nigeria. They have people on the payroll in every community, which is
> why they get away with everything. They are more powerful than the
> Nigerian government."
> The criticism was echoed by Ben Amunwa of the London-based oil watchdog
> Platform . "Shell claims to have nothing to
> do with Nigerian politics," he said. "In reality, Shell works deep
> inside the system, and has long exploited political channels in Nigeria
> to its own advantage."
> Nigeria tonight strenuously denied the claim. Levi Ajuonoma, a spokesman
> for state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation
> , said: "Shell does not control the government
> of Nigeria and has never controlled the government of Nigeria. This
> cable is the mere interpretation of one individual. It is absolutely
> untrue, an absolute falsehood and utterly misleading. It is an attempt
> to demean the government and we will not stand for that. I don't think
> anybody will lose sleep over it."
> Another cable released today, from the US consulate in Lagos and dated
> 19 September 2008, claims that Pickard told US diplomats that two named
> regional politicians were behind unrest in the Rivers state. She also
> asked if the American diplomats had any intelligence on shipments of
> surface to air missiles (SAMs) to militants in the Niger Delta.
> "She claimed Shell has 'intelligence' that one to three SAMs may have
> been shipped to Nigerian militant groups, although she seemed somewhat
> sceptical of that information and wondered if such sensitive systems
> would last long in the harsh environment of the Niger Delta in the care
> of groups not known for their preventive maintenance practices," the
> cable said.
> Pickard also said Shell had learned from the British government details
> of Russian energy company Gazprom's ambitions to enter the Nigerian
> market. In June last year Gazprom signed a $2.5bn (£1.5bn) deal with the
> state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to build refineries,
> pipelines and gas power stations.
> Shell put a request to the US consulate for potentially sensitive
> intelligence about its possible rival, which she said had secured a
> promise from the Nigerian government of access to 17 trillion cubic feet
> of natural gas – roughly a tenth of Nigeria's entire reserves.
> "Pickard said that that amount of gas was only available if the GON were
> to take concessions currently assigned to other oil companies and give
> them to Gazprom. She assumed Shell would be the GON's prime target."
> Pickard alleged that a conversation with a Nigerian government minister
> had been secretly recorded by the Russians. Shortly after the meeting in
> the minister's office she received a verbatim transcript of the meeting
> "from Russia", according to the memo.
> The cable concludes with the observation that the oil executive had
> tended to be guarded in discussion with US officials. "Pickard has
> repeatedly told us she does not like to talk to USG [US government]
> officials because the USG is 'leaky'." She may be concerned that...bad
> news about Shell's Nigerian operations will leak out."
> Shell declined to comment on the allegations, saying: "You are seeking
> our views on a leaked cable allegedly containing information about a
> private conversation involving a Shell representative, but have declined
> to share this cable or to permit us sufficient time to obtain
> information from the person you say took part in the conversation on the
> part of Shell. In view of this, we cannot comment on the alleged
> contents of the cable, including the correctness or incorrectness of any
> statements you say it contains."