President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday in Malta pleaded with the international community to rally round Nigeria’s quest to curb oil theft and corruption in the nation’s oil and gas sector as well as money laundering.
The President said corruption in the sector had also thrived because of the ease of transferring illicit funds abroad and the institutional protection given to corrupt officials in the past, urged them to rise against oil theft by refusing to patronise rogues.
According to a statement issued in Abuja by Mallam Garba Shehu, the president’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity said Buhari made the call at a group meeting of Commonwealth leaders on corruption.
Buhari said that corruption in the oil sector and outright theft of Nigeria’s crude oil had been exacerbated by the culture of impunity which reigned under previous administrations adding that it was high the trend was stopped.
He said that corruption in the sector had also thrived because of the ease of transferring illicit funds abroad and the institutional protection given to corrupt officials in the past.
“We must all work together to compel multinational oil companies, international financial institutions and international shipping lines to stop aiding and abetting corruption in the oil sector in Nigeria,’’ he said.
The leaders of Australia, Canada, Singapore, Malta, Sri Lanka, Botswana and Trinidad and Tobago attended the meeting, which was chaired by Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain.
Speaking earlier, Prime Minister Cameron said that the Commonwealth and the international community must do more to fight corrupt and promote good governance.
“We care passionately about this issue of fighting corruption. In my view, this issue needs to have a much higher billing on the international agenda.
“Not just because fighting corruption is right in itself, but because all the other things we want to achieve as countries and members of the Commonwealth depend on our success in doing so.
“If we want fair economic growth, we need to reject corruption. If we want to see fair and sustainable development, we need to deal with corruption. I think this is a vital issue.
“It is an issue for all of us because so much of the money stolen from developing countries is hidden in developed countries.
“So dealing with money laundering, dealing with beneficial ownership and making sure we stop stolen money being hidden away in developed countries is absolutely vital,’’ Cameron said.


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