by Stanley Azuakola
In case you missed it, Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom was at the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland and he gave a very well received speech. (You can read entire speech here).
In Nigeria, the media has quoted some parts of that speech, as the prime minister referenced Nigeria on the issues of transparency and oil exports.
For those who didn’t get to see it, here are the two paragraphs of the speech which feature Nigeria.
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 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. 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.