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WIKILEAKS: NETHERLANDS MAY PROBE SHELL'S ACTIVITIES IN NIGERIA

By NBF News
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THE NETHERLANDS' parliament may investigate alleged infiltration of Nigeria's ministries by Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC).

Spokesperson of the Economic Committee of the Dutch parliament, Ms. Sharon Gesthuizen, who revealed this, described the revelation by Wikileaks of the company's activities in Nigeria as shocking.

Gesthuizen, who is of the Socialist Party told The Guardian in Port Harcourt that she has already contacted The Netherlands Minister of Economic Affairs to take investigate and take action against the company, because its action contravenes Dutch laws.

Wikileaks had alleged that former Shell Vice President for Africa, Ann Pickard, had told United States' former Ambassador to Nigeria, Ms. Robin Renee Sanders, that Shell had received a copy of the letter that Special Adviser to the President on Petroleum Matters, Dr. Emmanuel Egbogah, had sent on some Chinese firms' bids for Nigerian oil blocks.

Pickard, according to the cable report, said Shell had good sources to show that their data had been sent to both China and Russia.

She was alleged to have said that the government of Nigeria had forgotten that Shell had seconded people to all the relevant ministries and that Shell consequently had access to everything that was being done in those ministries.

Gesthuizen described the revelation as shocking and surprising to citizens of The Netherlands and that was why the matter was going to be thoroughly investigated to ascertain the culpability of the oil multinational.

'It was shocking to see how apparently Shell was involved in the system. The officials were actually proud of being corrupt, that is what I read in the words that were on the Wikileaks, which is a very bad thing.  I mean, intensively wrong. I asked the Minister of Economic Affairs what he thinks of this. He will answer me in about two weeks time.

'I have asked him to take action and talk to Shell about this and also talk to Nigerian government about this and we will see what they are going to do about this. I want Shell to be honest. Their usual excuse was 'we cannot help the situation. I mean, this is the way things are in Nigeria and people are involved in illegal bunkering and destroying our pipelines and we cannot help it, but they have to be honest,' she said.

The Dutch lawmaker observed that though she does not believe all the words in the leaked report, but having raised the issue before Shell and the excuse that the conversation between Sander and Pickard was not official but a personal opinion, indicate that it was true.

'Obviously there is a lot of truth in what has been shown on Wikileaks and people are not proud of that at all. But they did not know and that is why it is important to keep this on the political agenda.'

Gesthuizen, who expressed concern over Shell's closeness with the Nigerian government to the extent that it has infiltrated key ministries and departments, said this is contrary to Dutch laws and the company's policy.

She explained that if Shell or any Dutch company must do business in Nigeria, it has to be done in a fair way.

According to her, it is also important for Nigerian government to strive for good governance.