Germany to assist Nigeria stop oil theft

Nov 11, 2008 01:00 AM

German President, Mr Horst Kohler, who was on state visit to Nigeria, said that tough times awaited those involved in illegal oil bunkering in the country, as stopping it and punishing the beneficiaries would form part of the global new financial order. Nigeria loses billions of dollars annually from illegal oil bunkering in the Niger Delta. Kohler, therefore, called for more transparency in the country's oil transactions to "make life harder" for both local and international accomplices in the illicit trade.
The threat came just as trade between Nigeria and Germany hit N 312 bn in 2008. President Umaru Yar'Adua, said that the country's strategic partnership with Germany on energy had been consolidated with Kohler's visit.

Both Yar'Adua and Kohler spoke in Abuja at a news conference where they elaborated on issues that dominated their bilateral talks. Besides helping Nigeria come out of its oil mess, Kohler explained that discussions transcended oil and gas and expressed his country's readiness to assist Nigeria realise its potential, especially education of its youths. He said that the objective of his visit was to explore how to help Nigeria diversify its economy in tandem with the 2020 vision. According to him, processing industry (agriculture), education, the financial sector and infrastructure are key areas.
He said, "This is not only about a new international financial order but a new order for the anti-global economy.

Meanwhile, the German Secretary, Ministry of Commerce and Technology, Mrs Dagmar Wohrl, said the volume of trade between Nigeria and Germany in 2008 far exceeded EUR 2 bn (N 312 bn). The Secretary, who said this in Abuja, at the Nigerian-German Investment Forum organised by the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission, said the figure represented the first eight months of 2008.
She described the partnership between both countries as a "win-win" situation, as Germany basically imported natural gas from Nigeria and in exchange, Germany ensured the transfer of technology through the operations of its various companies. Specifically, she said Germany was interested in cooperating with Nigeria in the area of renewable energy, such as solar energy to help address Nigeria's power and electricity challenges.

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