UK applauds Nigeria oil bill

2012-10-08 16:27
Britain's business secretary, Vince Cable, speaks during a global business environment meeting in Lagos, Nigeria. (Sunday Alamba, AP)

Britain's business secretary, Vince Cable, speaks during a global business environment meeting in Lagos, Nigeria. (Sunday Alamba, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

  • Goodluck Jonathan
    Goodluck Jonathan features articles containing everything you need to know about the Nigerian... Now R838.00
    buy now

Lagos - The United Kingdom's business secretary said on Monday that a bill to overhaul Nigeria's oil industry should be focused on what helps the West African nation, rather than what benefits the foreign oil companies working there.

The comments by Vince Cable on a visit to Lagos represent a departure from what Western diplomats have said in the past about the Petroleum Industry Bill, which analysts say would sharply reduce the profits of foreign companies like Chevron Corporation, ExxonMobil Corporation, Eni SpA, Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Total SA. Diplomats largely have supported the position of the oil companies in a nation that remains crucial to US gasoline supplies.

Cable, speaking before business leaders gathered at a breakfast meeting on Monday, said the overhaul bill could help transparency and accountability efforts in the nation.

The bill would require the government-run Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, which partners with all foreign oil firms, to seek profits like a private business and not rely on government subsidies.

"The issue here is not what is good for the oil companies, but what best helps the country maximize its potential," Cable said.

However, he cautioned that the bill needs to be "well-crafted," without going into specifics.

Oil money provides about 80% of Nigeria's government funding, which trickles down to states that have budgets greater than those of surrounding nations. But the corruption that pervades the nation often sees that money go into political leaders' pockets rather than toward government services.

Economic resurgence

Shell, which has strong presence in Britain and where Cable once worked as an economist, previously has said that it has put $40bn in planned investments on hold in Nigeria over the outcome of the bill. Cable is a member of the Liberal Democrats, the junior partner to the Conservatives in Britain's coalition government.

It remains unclear, however, whether the oil overhaul bill has the traction necessary to move from proposal to law. The bill has languished for years before Nigeria's National Assembly, despite claims by various leaders, including President Goodluck Jonathan, that it quickly would win lawmakers' approval.

Cable, who once worked as an economics adviser to Kenya's government, also highlighted Africa's recent economic resurgence despite the global recession. He sat next to billionaire businessman Aliko Dangote during the event Monday in Lagos.

 He acknowledged that British firms have backed away from marquee road projects and other improvements in Africa, in part out of not being paid for work in the past. He made the comments inside the Oriental Hotel, a massive new building recently built in Lagos by Chinese construction companies.

He also urged Nigeria to do more to fight the government corruption that chokes the country. He recounted giving a talk to military dictator and mass embezzler Sani Abacha in the 1990s about what could happen to Nigeria if corruption went unchecked.

Abacha "listened politely and even burst into laughed when one of his ministers ... angrily interrupted me to say: 'There is no such thing as corruption in Nigeria,'" Cable said.

- AP

Read more on:    goodluck jonathan  |  uk  |  nigeria
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

Don't be voting cattle, warns Tutu

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has warned South Africans to think carefully before they cast their ballots on 7 May.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

11 Julius Malema quotes you'll never forget
DA won't get 30% - Zille
The EFF's ad was banned, see why
Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Tuesday Century City - 05:58 AM
    Road name: Ratanga Road Southbound
    ROADWORKS - lane closure between Ocean Spirit Avenue and Century Boulevard (until mid April)
  • Tuesday Mitchells Plain - 05:58 AM
    Road name: Spine Road
    ROAD CLOSED between Weltevreden Drive and Seafarer Drive due to roadworks (until mid April)
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Welcome on board the kalahari.com 24 hour sale on books!

Today only, buy 1 book and get 1 FREE on the top 100 books. Offer expires midnight 23 April. While stocks last. Shop now!

Get 50% off selected books!

Buy 2 books and get 50% off the second book. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mother’s Day special offers!

Spoil mom with these awesome specials that will warm her heart. Shop now!

Twisp – the smoking alternative

Buy any 2 refills for R250 and save R149. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Samsung Galaxy Note 16GB

GALAXY Note combines the market's largest HD Super AMOLED display,...

From R3899.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be constantly on the move, working too hard, networking and making sure everything is working and everyone is satisfied,...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.