'Shell infiltrated Nigerian government'
The Anglo-Dutch oil company Shell reportedly has inserted staff into all relevant ministries of the Nigerian government.
According to a leaked US diplomatic cable published in UK broadsheet The Guardian, Former Shell Nigeria top executive Ann Pickard told the US Ambassador to Nigeria Shell knew "everything that was being done in those ministries." Pickard boasted that the Nigerian government had forgotten about the extent of Shell's infiltration and was unaware of how much the company knew about its deliberations.
The Guardian writes that the secret diplomatic cables from the US embassies in Africa also revealed that the Anglo-Dutch oil firm swapped intelligence with the US about Niger Delta militants. According to human rights activists, the leaked information reveals the extent of the entanglement between Shell and Nigerian politics. The West African country earns billions of euros in oil revenues but 70 percent of its population live below the poverty line.
Nigeria on Wednesday denied the reports: "Shell does not control the government of Nigeria and has never controlled the government of Nigeria.” Shell has refused to comment on the allegations.
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