Last month I reportednthat the US was making an aggressive push to expand its oil refining network in West Africa, specifically Nigeria. A massive series of NATO War Games simulations took place at the Operation Flintlock 2015 AFRICOM Conference, where thousands of US and African soldiers began intensive training programs. As the conference concluded, Boko Haram declared its allegiance with ISIS. Major media latched onto that story and ran with it like a constipated greyhound. A report published by one of the world’s largest audit, tax, and advisory firms, KPMG Africa, a subsidiary of KPMG International, outlined in explicit detail the plans and tax incentives of razing the impoverished and unstable region for oil and natural gas. This week, Exxon Mobil had its plans for offshore drilling networks in and around the Gulf of Guinea ratified by Equatorial Guinean government. E-Guinea shares the same coastline as Nigeria. Shortly after this announcement, former US Army College graduate and Nigerian dictator Muhammadu Buhari became Nigeria’s President-Elect. This is not a coincidence.
Buhari is a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) political party. He was trained and educated by the US military. He graduated from US Army College in 1980 and within 3 years of graduation became the new militant leader of Nigeria after a violent coup. Buhari led an excessively violent regime in Nigeria and has a storied personal history with the oil industry. In 1976, General Olusegun Obasanjo appointed Buhari as Federal Commissioner for Petroleum and Natural Resources. After being appointed, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) was formed in 1977. The NNPC is the state run oil regulation corporation responsible for maintaining Nigeria’s oil industry. It is wrought with unilateral corruption. US support for Buhari has been clearly established, despite claims from Washington.
President Obama’s former senior advisor and campaign manager, David Axelrod, was caught lying about funding Buhari and the APC. Emails and interviews obtained by the Washington Free Beacon indicate that Axelrod’s consulting firm, AKPD, has continued to fund Buhari and the APC after it announced it would no longer do so, following the abduction of hundreds of schoolgirls by Boko Haram in March 2014. “AKPD worked with the APC from December 2013 to March 2014. We were no longer working with the APC when the Boko Haram kidnapping of the young girls took place,” AKPD spokesman Isaac Baker told the Washington Times last year. Baker later contradicted himself by telling the Free Beacon in an email, “In December 2014, the APC re-hired AKPD for a 3-week engagement to help the party in organizing announcement events. That was our only involvement with the party since we completed work in March.”
Other email conversations conducted by the Free Beacon clearly show AKPD is lying. The Free Beacon reports, “In a series of messages between senior APC officials and advisors from September 2014 to late January 2015, AKPD polling and other work are repeatedly discussed. Requests for comment sent to several APC figures mentioned in internal emails were not returned by press time.”
Despite reports from sources on the ground in Nigeria claiming Buhari is leading a “western-style” campaign, National Human Rights Commission has reported at least 50 Nigerians being killed during the election. Skirmishes and intimidation were present during the balloting process between insurgents and Nigerian Police. The election was postponed for 6 weeks due to these circumstances.
During Buhari’s tenure, $4 billion went missing from NNPC accounts and was traced to an offshore bank account belonging to Buhari. This has come to light during Buhari’s campaign. Former Nigerian Foreign Affairs Minister, Tom Ikimi, recently spoke publicly about the history of the missing funds, “…when you talk of corruption, you can only know someone is corrupt by what appointment you give him. He [Buhari] was Minister of Petroleum and before 1993, smuggled 2.8 billion naira [$4 billion US], which was in our MidWest Bank in England and put it in a notorious bank known as BCTI.”
Ikimi states that Buhari’s corrupt management of the NNPC led to his successful coup attempt in 1983, “By the time it was discovered, that money had yielded an interest of over $400 million. Up until now, nobody knows where that interest money is. He quickly made a coup to bring down the government. That was the reason for the 1983 coup.”
Buhari was recently the keynote speaker for the “Countdown to Nigeria’s 2015 Elections” conference, held by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a ruling class think tank with close ties to the White House.
In 2013, Nigeria’s Central Bank (CBN) accused the NNPC of embezzling billions of dollars of crude oil profits. Mallam Sanusi Lamido, former Governor of the CBN alleged that the NNPC failed to remit $49.8 billion to the CBN over a 19-month period. Political turmoil erupted following this bombshell accusation. Sansuni changed his tune and presented a 73-page report to the Nigerian Senate which contained an altered figure of $20 billion of embezzled funds.
KPMG mentioned in their report of oil refining prospects in Nigeria that rampant corruption and billions of missing dollars were widespread in Nigeria. Despite this fact, KPMG was excited about repealed legislation that provided numerous tax incentives for foreign investors. Current President Goodluck Johnson was responsible for repealing the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) in 1995. This repeal gave foreign oil complete tax immunity when launching new ventures in Nigeria. Goodluck began to expand relationships with China in the oil trade. Buhari is on the verge of successfully completing another coup in Nigeria, helped in large part by his opposition to trade with China. 73-year old Buhari is just another US sponsored dictator.
In a separate report done by KPMG in 2011, it was established that between 2007 and 2009 alone, millions of dollars were stolen or used for bribery by US investors in Nigeria. A global contacting firm, Willboros Group, was indicted for making $6.3 million in corrupt payments to the NNPC for construction of a major pipeline known as the Eastern Gas Gathering System (EGGS), violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Willboros Group was required to pay $22 million in criminal penalties for fraud.
A private equity consortium consisting of Candover, 3i, and JP Morgan called Vetco was convicted of bribery for paying more than $1 million for obtaining insider trading information from the Nigerian government in connection with seven oil and gas construction contracts from which the companies expected to realize profits of almost $12 million. Vetco’s parent corporation, ABB Ltd. was also accused of bribery and fraud by the US Securities Exchange Commission (SEC). ABB had to pay $10.5 million in penalties as well as have an outside auditor review their financial reports. ABB was bribing 3 of Exxon Mobil’s biggest oil hubs, Nigeria, Kazakhstan and Angola.
Goodluck signed a $23 billion contract with Chinese firms for construction of several new oil and petrochemical facilities. Suddenly in 2014, Goodluck cancelled a large-scale military training program led by the US. US officials accused this action of bringing US-Nigerian relations to an historic low. Nigeria has emerged as the primary producer of oil since US-NATO bombings and insurgency erupted over the control of oil in Libya. Libya’s National Oil Corp. (NOC) has lost control of its oil supply to militias and Libya’s oil production has dropped to only 10% of its former yield. The US supports the NOC and the US Navy foiled an attempt by rebels to export crude without NOC’s approval last year. Goodluck was trying to play two fiddles at once and now he is no longer president. China bad, USA good. Perhaps it can be seen as progress for US diplomacy that Goodluck’s head wasn’t chopped off by “rebels.” I guess it pays to be named Goodluck.
The US recently authorized the invasion of the Northern Nigerian city of Baga by Chadian and Cameroonian forces without consent from Nigerian government. Baga is the fishing community captured by Boko Haram earlier this year. Over 2000 people were murdered in the attack. Security experts have said that the Nigerian Army’s reaction to this invasion was “troublesome.” A Nigerian civil rights activist, Peregrino Brimah, expanded on this concern:
The Nigerian government saying through the army spokesperson, General Olukolade that they are ‘lukewarm’ to Chad’s mission to Nigeria is very troubling to say the least. If Chad’s intentions and mission is good intended then why should the Nigerian government be kept out of the loop and be unenthusiastic? This questions the trust we as a people have in both governments. Would the Nigerian government not wish Chad assist them in rescuing occupied territories? Is there intelligence with the Nigerian administration that makes them suspicious of Chad; or are they uninterested in Nigeria’s liberation?
Exxon Mobil has been established in Africa for over 100 years. It is primarily operating out of Nigeria, Chad, Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, and Angola. The contract between Exxon Mobil and Equatorial Guinea gives Exxon Mobil 71.25% majority control in the venture. The National Oil Company of Equatorial Guinea will hold a 23.75% share and only 5% of control will be held by Guinea’s government. What a perfect example of the state of global power structures. On our planet, governments have 5% input into the goings on of their countries. The other 95% belongs to the oil industry.
In summation, the oil industry is corrupt and evil. This is not a revelation.
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