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Published 25th June 2004

Vol 45 No 13


Gas leak

International investigations into corruption allegations could prove politically explosive

Allegations that contractors building Nigeria's fast expanding Liquefied Natural Gas complex have paid over US$180 million in illegal commissions have prompted parallel investigations in France, Nigeria and the United States. From sources close to these investigations, Africa Confidential has obtained details of the circumstances surrounding the award of the LNG construction contracts and a list of those who have received payments from the contractors' appointed agent, British lawyer Jeffrey Tesler. Former Minister of Petroleum Resources Don Etiebet has alleged 'commercial foul play' in the award of the initial $3.6 billion construction contract for Nigeria's Liquefied Natural Gas project in September 1994. The LNG project, which is now the biggest industrial project in Africa, was under Etiebet's authority as Minister at the time of this contract award but he says he was 'shunted out' of the decision-making process after he had raised concerns about bidding procedures. Etiebet was sacked five months later by the military Head of State, Sani Abacha who, he claimed, then targeted him 'for elimination'.


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General Ibrahim Babangida, Head of State, August 1985-August 1993. Presided over the formation of the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas joint venture but insisted the state-owned Nige...

Gas timetable

17 May 1989: Incorporation of Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Limited. NLNG Board with representatives from the state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Shell Gas ...

Too much sopi

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After waiting all his life to be president, Abdoulaye Wade is making up for lost time (AC Vol 43 No 9). Since his triumphant defeat of Abdou Diouf in 2000, President Wade has made ...

At a crossroads

An awkward defendant helps to uncover a secret commissions system

The investigations into Nigeria's Liquefied Natural Gas project span three continents and are a major test of international resolve to combat corruption. In France, it is the bigge...


Shell is both a victim and a prime cause of the social calamity in the Niger Delta

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Tinkering with trouble

The international community seems powerless to prevent the steady worsening of the crisis (AC Vol 45 No 11). A United Nations Security Council mission arrived on 22 June and the UN...

Genocide watch

As United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan is taking the heat for UN inaction on the Darfur genocide, Washington is under mounting pressure to act. Worried about 'another Rwand...

Iraq first

After seven frustrating years, former United States Secretary of State James Baker III has resigned as the United Nations Secretary General's Special Envoy to Western Sahara. He is...

Newish start

New President Bingu wa Mutharika took three weeks to establish his cabinet and his parliamentary majority, in time for the Speaker's election on 28 June (AC Vol 45 No 12). The 21 c...