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UK Stands "Ready To Help" Nigerian Oil Production

United Kingom "Ready to Help" Nigerian Oil Production

Plans to deal with oil smuggling and corruption in the Niger Delta region have been outlined by Gordon Brown in a press conference with the President of Nigeria.

The UK has offered to assist in providing "robust accounting systems" and security to reduce the 1.5m barrels of oil currently lost every day in Nigeria, a key global supplier.

Speaking alongside President Umaru Yar'Adua in Downing Street earlier tonight, the Prime Minister said that dealing with the issue will help the global economy deal with the current global oil price shock. It would also help lift Nigerians out of poverty, he added.

The PM also announced £50m of aid to tackle malaria and save 200,000 lives.

The money will be used to provide 4m bednets and 40m anti-malarial vaccinations and other measures to the most vulnerable people in the country, including children and the elderly.

***

FULL JOINT STATEMENT

Statement: President Umaru Yar'adua With Gordon Brown - 16 July 2008

Delta

* The President and PM discussed the Niger Delta, including the need to achieve a long-term sustainable peace for the region, and the impact problems with oil production have had on the global economy,

* The President has confirmed his commitment to a peace process in the Niger Delta, which addresses the need for reconciliation between all parties and can deliver improved development across the region.

* The President has confirmed that the UN will retain an advisory role in this process. The British Government stands ready to support the Nigerian Government in its peace initiatives.

* The UK Government and international community will work with the Government of Nigeria to ensure oil production can bring prosperity to Nigeria, including improved livelihoods for the people of the Niger Delta. DFID have discussed the possibilities for assistance with the President and other federal and local Government representatives.

* The UK Government acknowledged the commendable efforts of the Government of Nigeria towards achieving peace and sustainable development of the Niger Delta, particularly progress on the Niger Delta Master Plan and dialogue which may lead to a summit of stakeholders.

* The UK will work with the Government of Nigeria to identify training and advisory support which would help to improve the Nigerian capability to provide security in the Delta.

Migration

* The UK Government expressed appreciation for continuing Nigerian cooperation on migration issues.

* The President and the PM discussed ways to extend this cooperation including a possible Prisoner Transfer Agreement, and including possible areas of cooperation that will benefit both parties.

Corruption

* The PM welcomed the President's stated commitment to the rule of law and his pledge to fight corruption.

* The UK will continue to cooperate with the Nigerian authorities to bring to justice those guilty of stealing from Nigeria.

Africa and development

* The Prime Minister welcomed Nigeria's strong commitment to seeing free and fair elections in Zimbabwe, and the leadership it has shown in the AU and other international bodies.

* The Prime Minister also welcomed the Nigerian Government's continued commitment to economic reform and the President's support for the MDGs.

ENDS

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