Home » Africa & World Politics, Headlines » FG flays EU countries’ travel advice on Nigeria

FG flays EU countries’ travel advice on Nigeria

THE Federal Government has expressed discontent with some European Union (EU) countries’ alleged to have issued travel advice on Nigeria despite the relative peace in the oil-rich Niger Delta region.

The government has also accused multinational oil companies operating in the Niger Delta, which it described as the greatest beneficiary of the amnesty programme, of not supporting its initiatives to rehabilitate the ex-militants in the area of capacity building.

The Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Chairman Presidential Amnesty Programme, Kingsley Kuku, bemoaned the travel advice at a conference on the Niger Delta held at the French Institute of

International Relations (IFRI), Paris, and presided over by the institute’s Research Associate , Benjamin Augu, yesterday.

Kuku described the travel advice as one serious orchestration by a few European countries, particularly Britain and The Netherlands, that has influenced the whole of Europe, hence making it difficult for the government to get visa for ex-militants that it intends to train abroad.

“But the same Europe is giving travel advice to its nationals not to visit the Niger Delta. I think the best travel advice to give if they  are sincere is, for instance, for France to ask Total/Elf, as a company in which it has stakes, to leave the Niger Delta for reason that it is not safe to carry out exploration activities there. That is the best travel advice and we can call that a multinational advice.   Then Total/Elf can leave Nigeria and we can begin to address world peace issues,” he said.

The presidential aide continued: “It is also good for the government of Netherlands and that of Britain to also ask SPDC to leave and not telling their nationals not to travel to Niger Delta. That is discreet mischief. You make so much money from the region but you are telling your people not to go there. In reality, they are not asking their people to leave.”

According to Kuku, there is no justification for these countries whose multinationals companies are benefiting immensely from oil and gas exploration in the Niger Delta to deny the ex-militants,  who have embraced peace that has resulted in increased in oil production from 700,000 barrels per day, to 2.4million per day, visa.

“With the return of peace to the region, the oil companies are the biggest beneficiaries. In consequence, Britain, France and other countries are also gaining because some of you have stakes in these companies. So, why not encourage Nigeria to enhance the peace that has become mutually beneficial to all us. Because peace is better than war, I encourage you to look at some of the challenges we are facing and assist us,” he said.

The presidential aide explained that prior to the amnesty programme,

some of the oil companies were said to be spending two to three billion

dollars yearly on security of their pipelines and oil infrastructure. He noted that with the cessation of hostilities which has led to reduction of attacks on oil infrastructure, the oil companies should have deployed same resources for sustenance of the amnesty programme by helping in the development of the human capacity of the ex-militants.

“The oil companies are handling only 3,000 persons out of the 26,358 youths that were disarmed. Is that not too small? If 26,000 persons had been your problem, let us imagine that, and you took only 3,000, you are still left with 23,000 to contend with if they are angry. So why are they not holistically into the post-amnesty programme,” he queried.

Kuku said the Nigerian government was demanding for their money.  According to him, “government had expected the oil companies to pull their resources together and look for internationally certified training centres around the world to train the ex-militants but to no avail.”

-Guardian

Short URL: http://newnigerianpolitics.com/?p=13814

Posted by on Oct 12 2011. Filed under Africa & World Politics, Headlines. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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