US explains its presence in Nigeria's oil fields

Jan 01, 2006 01:00 AM

The United States Government explained its presence in the Gulf of Guinea where Nigeria’s biggest oil field, Bonga Project, is located, saying the move was to help Nigeria secure the area from terrorists and other maritime criminals.
Responding to questions at the Seapower for Africa symposium, Admiral Harry Ulrich, Commander of US Naval Forces, Europe, and Africa, dispelled insinuations making the rounds in Nigeria that the US warships presence in the region is for military purposes, especially to launch an attack on Nigeria or that an individual in the country is using them to actualise a course.

Ulrich said that the Nigerian government is trying its best to secure the region.
Reports available to Washington indicate that the Gulf of Guinea is full of international criminals among which are terrorists, sea pirates and smugglers. Ulrich said considering the dependence of America on Nigeria's oil, they are bound to show concern.

According to him, „we hear series of stories for our presence in the Gulf of Guinea, but I want to say that we are concerned for Nigeria and we want to help her protect the region from the hands of maritime criminal.”
"In all parts of the world, the US and any good nation want a safe coast for countries who are supplying their energy, and that is why we are often there. So there is nothing to fear for Nigeria,” he assured.

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