Leadership (Abuja)

17 February 2014

Nigeria: U.S.$20 Billion Oil Revenue - U.S. Ready to Assist Nigeria - Envoy

The United States' ambassador to Nigeria, Ambassador James Entwistle, has said that the US will be glad to carry out a neutral investigation into the Nigeria's $20 billion missing oil revenue.

CBN governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi had claimed in a Senate hearing that $20 million oil revenue was still unaccounted for by the NNPC, a claim the corporation stoutly denies.

But in an exclusive interview with our reporter during his visit to Kano State, James Entwistle stated that this development was part of US government's response to the request put forward by Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan in his meeting with President Obama last September.

According to the US Envoy, President Jonathan said to Obama: "Look, why don't you help in investigating oil bunkering and theft in my country". Obama replied, "I will see what I can do."

Entwistle added that in line with US government's commitment towards recovering $20 billion missing oil revenue, if Nigeria's financial institutions witness any unusual financial transactions, the government should not hesitate to notify US representative in the country for investigation.

In what appears as if US envoy doubted Nigeria's government readiness in combating oil bunkering, he told LEADERSHIP: "I was surprised when I took a helicopter above Niger Delta; it revealed to me that oil bunkering is not hidden from the federal government, or anybody. My conclusion is very simple: some people must know what is going on."

He noted that though corruption is the big issue in America and the world over, it requires Nigeria's and any other countries' concerted effort through provision of relevant laws.

Speaking on insurgency, US ambassador said that it takes an effective counter-insurgency policy to fight somebody who had entangled himself with the civilian population Boko Haram, saying that America has provided not only a military assistance but support to Nigeria's economy in ensuring job creation via youth empowerment.

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