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Nigeria: Oil

Volume 479: debated on Thursday 17 July 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions his Department has held with Nigerian officials regarding military attacks on Shell Oil facilities recently; and if he will make a statement. (218162)

Officials from our high commission in Abuja maintain good contacts with the Nigerian Government across a wide range of policy areas including the Niger Delta. Following the two most recent militant attacks (one against the Shell offshore Bonga platform on 19 June and another against a Chevron pipeline in Delta State on 21 June) staff from our high commission in Abuja discussed the incidents with senior advisers in the Presidency and also with senior military officials. During these meetings, our high commission officials stressed the negative impact of continuing insecurity in the Delta region. The Group of Eight leading industrialised nations (G8) stated earlier this month that it shared the concern of the Nigerian Government about the violence in the Delta region and supported the Nigerian Government's efforts to improve the security situation and prospects for development.

My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister met President Yar'Adua of Nigeria in London on 16 July and discussed how the UK might help in Nigerian-led approaches to solving the underlying causes of instability in the Niger Delta.