Nov. 13, 2013
NewsRescue– It started with an article Femi Aribisala published in the Vanguard, on Tuesday the 12th November, 2013: ‘Money-Laundering Nigeria’s Future’.
In the article Mr. Aribisala said:
David Cameron, Prime-Minister of Great Britain, is reported to have asked President Goodluck Jonathan what happened to the $100 billion dollars Nigeria made from oil and gas exports in 2012, insisting that “lack of accountability and transparency is a big problem in Nigerian oil and gas industry.”
Reno Omokri, the Special Assistant on New Media to President Jonathan, came out swinging Wednesday the 13th. Published in DailyPost, he said:
…one Mr. Femi Aribisala made claims to the effect that the British Prime Minister, Mr. David Cameron, had asked Nigeria to account for $100 billion revenue which had accrued to the nation in 2012. Let me say that Mr. Femi Aribisala was being economical with the truth when he said this. Nothing of the sort ever happened. Mr. Femi Aribisala may have been relying on false headlines carried by some opposition linked sites which have no basis in reality. …let me again say that such an incidence never occurred. It is fictitious and it has no basis in truth.
This was the main point of contention. … well, apart from whatever Mr Omokri meant by “$100 billion dollars”, with the repetition of the dollar as sign and word.
Did or did not the British premiere cast such debasing allegation against Reno’s Oga-at-the-top and Nigeria’s robbed and wasted $100bn in revenue in 2012?
What followed was a tirade in the comment section of the DailyPost article, with Mr. Femi Aribisala substantiating his claim with an article by Written by Mark Debo Taiwo in the Nigerian Tribune, this March, in which he quoted Prime minister David Cameron as having made such assertion, while demanding the world faces deadly corruption in Africa head on.
A certain commentator, “Patriotic Nigerian” said of Omokri’s article, that like Aribisala, all he did was post online articles with no full transcript of David Cameron.
And then a certain”Olusegun Adekoya” came and thanked Reno for his article, opinioning that, “The problem with such illogical article written by Mr Aribisala is that most Nigerians that should know better would quote his assertions as fact without endeavouring to cross check.” He further stated, “On another note,yourself,Abati and Okupe should highlight the present administration’s progress/accomplishments regularly and repeatedly because our main news outlets wouldnt due to obvious reasons e.g being owned and financed by opposition politician.”
Now to us intellectuals, there is a lot of noise here, and we do not allow noise now or later to get our eyes off the ball. Question is- did or did not British Prime Minister David Cameron, make such harrowing statement about the fate of corruption of Nigeria and the $100bn mismanaged?
NewsRescue searched for the entire transcript, and we found it! The date of his speech was January 24, 2013
TRUTH: David Cameron’s Full Speech On Nigeria’s State Of Corruption
Now the third big push on our agenda is transparency: shining a light on company ownership, land ownership and where money flows from and to.
This is critical to developing countries. Of course aid has played, and will continue to play, an important role in development, and I’m proud that the UK is keeping its aid promises. I’m also proud that we are leading the fight on global hunger, funding nutrition programmes for twenty million children and pregnant women over the next few years.
There should be, there will be, and I will back a major push on tackling global hunger, under-nutrition and stunting this year. And I applaud the NGOs, the charities, the organisations that are motivating public opinion, business opinion, world opinion on this absolutely vital issue.
But at the same time as talking about aid we also need to move the debate on so we’re not just dealing with the symptoms of poverty but we’re tackling the causes. Now I’ve argued for years that there is a golden thread of conditions that enable open economies and open societies to thrive. The rule of law, the absence of conflict and corruption, the presence of property rights and strong institutions: these things are vital for countries to move from poverty to wealth.
And now as the co-chair of the UN High Level Panel, and with the presidency of the G8, there is a chance to put turbo boosters under this agenda, and I’m determined to seize that chance.
I want this G8 to lead a big push for transparency across the developing world, and to illustrate why let me give you one example. A few years back a transparency initiative exposed a huge hole in Nigeria’s finances, an eight hundred million dollar ($800 million) discrepancy between what companies were paying and what the government was receiving for oil – a massive, massive gap. The discovery of this is leading to new regulation of Nigeria’s oil sector so the richness of the earth can actually help to enrich the people of that country.
And the potential is staggering. Last year Nigeria oil exports were worth almost a hundred billion dollars ($100 billion) That is more than the total net aid to the whole of sub Saharan Africa. So put simply: unleashing the natural resources in these countries dwarfs anything aid can achieve, and transparency is absolutely critical to that end. So we’re going to push for more transparency on who owns companies; on who’s buying up land and for what purpose; on how governments spend their money; on how gas, oil and mining companies operate; and on who is hiding stolen assets and how we recover and return them. Like everything else in this G8, the ambitions are big and I make no apology for that.
Thirty years ago more than half of our planet lived on the equivalent of one dollar twenty five a day or less; today it’s not one half, it is one fifth. This is an amazing story of human progress and it shows what is possible. We can be the generation that eradicates absolute poverty in our world, but we’ll only achieve that if we break the vicious cycle and treat the causes of poverty and not just its symptoms.
So let me end today by saying this: I know that some people might be thinking he’s talking about cracking down on tax avoidance, talking about making companies be more transparent – doesn’t this sound like an anti-business, bash the rich, tax success agenda? Absolutely not. This is a resolutely pro-business agenda. I’m about the most pro-business leader you can find. I yield to no-one in my enthusiasm for capitalism.
It is an economic system that generated more wealth, unleashed more human potential and reduced more grinding poverty than any other in history. I don’t believe that one person’s wealth fairly gained through free exchange in an open market is somehow the cause of another person’s poverty. I will have no truck with those who want to demonise the successful, to level down rather than to build up, or to those who seek continually to turn the word profit in to a dirty word.
But I also passionately believe that if you want open economies, low taxes and free enterprise then you need to lay down the rules of the game and you need to be prepared to enforce them. Poor business practice doesn’t operate in a vacuum: it hurts the good. When one company doesn’t pay the taxes they owe then other companies end up paying more. When some cowboys play the system all businesses suffer from the fallout to their reputation – that is why it’s not just those in the NGOs who’ve been lobbying my government on these issues, it’s those in the high rises in the City of London: bankers, lawyers, senior figures in finance. They’ve told us to pursue this agenda hard and that is exactly what we’re going to do.
This is a vision of proper companies, proper taxes, proper rules. A vision of open societies, open economies and open government and we are going to work with our partners in the G8 to achieve it for the good of the people right across the world. Thank you very much indeed for listening.
We guess Jonathan’s Reno Omokri could not read and recognize the figures in the text of the statement transcript, because they were written as “hundred billion dollars” and not, “$100 billion dollars” as he can identify.
More pressing in the news is the discovery of the elaborate, intercontinental robbery of Nigeria’s money by the NNPC and Swiss oil dealers: NewsRescue–$7bn NNPC, Swiss Oil Scam Is “Greatest Fraud Africa Has Ever Known” — Berne Declaration