Gulf of Guinea: “80% of the cases of piracy are linked to Nigeria”

EU mulls Nigeria’s PIB to end gas flaring, oil theft

The European Union has blamed government for the huge amount of revenue lost to oil theft in Nigeria, saying the excuse that European countries provide a ready market for the stolen products does not hold water.

The EU Head of delegation to Nigeria Amb. Michel Arrion  who spoke in Abuja Tuesday at a media luncheon said the country should first do a thorough in-house cleansing to halt the drift rather pointing accusing fingers to Europe

180,000 Barrel of crude oil amounting to about $1.8billion oil revenue is believed to be stolen from Nigeria economy  daily.

Arrion said the claims of existing market in Europe was not enough to explain why oil theft goes on unabated.

He also said that the allegation linking European countries to the illegal business was wrong.

He said, “You don’t explain your corruption because you were tempted by  corrupt people. Just clean your house first. Of course at the core of  piracy problems are the pirates ‎not the guys you eventually meet at the sea or that are buying the product. This is not true.

“This information about European countries buying stolen oil is simply not true. Don’t repeat what is not substantiated.  I fully deny any European involvement, but probably  there might be some exceptions.. there are always some exceptions.‎ But I am sorry, don’t  try to transfer the blame to foreigners. No please this is not correct, am sorry.”

He therefore urged  Nigeria and other countries around the gulf of Guinea region to rise up to the challenge of piracy; explaining that “80% of the cases of piracy are linked to Nigeria either because it is done on Nigeria water or the oil that was stolen is Nigerian or because the pirates are Nigerians or for all kinds of reasons Nigeria is linked to all cases of piracy. So Nigeria must lead the process.”

The piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, he further stressed that “it is  principally the responsibility of ‎states, people originating from gulf of guinea.”

Arrion who also spoke on the issue of gas flaring said that  unless there is a law guiding the operations in the oil and gas industry, the process might continue.

He noted that as the situation were now, the companies will prefer to flare the gas than to sell it as there is no law regulating the industry.

But,  once the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) is passed, Arrion said companies would begin to make best use of the gas, rather than flaring it.

In response to Nigeria’s new priority, Arrion said, “European Union’s development assistance to the country, under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) will focus on the North, where development indicators are unacceptably worse. The emphasis will be on improved access to basic social services such as health, nutrition and social protection as well as improved access to electricity which will lead to economic growth and improved security.

“Recently the EU signed an agreement with the Nigerian government to fund a pilot project aimed at providing community based psychological support and protection services for children and adolescents affected by the Boko Haram insurgents in Borno state. ”

While noting that EU aid is strategically tailored to unlock Nigeria’s potentials, Arrion noted that Nigeria is not an aid-dependent economy, with aids constituting less than one per cent of it’s GDP.

Head of EU delegation who also spoke on the country’s recent general election said Nigeria has shown other African countries how things should be done.

Arrion  commended outgoing President, Goodlyck Jonathan for accepting the outcome of the election and also the president-elect, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari for being tenacious in purpose and magnanimous in victory.

He also praised the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega and his team for their dogged commitment to ensure that the outcomes of the elections reflected the wishes of majority of Nigerians.

Arrion also urged the South-East and South-South should not just remain a strong hold of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) but a formidable opposition party will engender national development.

He stressed that it will be a bad thing if the All Progressives Congress (APC) will just replace the PDP.


Maritime Security News:
The assertion that 80% of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea is Nigerian-related will come as a significant shock to… well, very few. It will, however, place added pressure on the incoming President Buhari and his team to try and clamp down on it, something the previous administration seemed unable to do. Similarly, it will not please NIMASA…


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