Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2012-03-14-Speech-3-530-000"

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"Mr President, we are all concerned about the reports coming out of Nigeria: the attacks of 20 January in Kano, in which more than 150 people were killed, the kidnappings, the failed rescue operations and the tragic events of last weekend, in which a suicide attack on a church with at least three fatalities led to an act of revenge claiming the lives of ten people. These explosive tensions between different communities demonstrate the powerlessness of the Nigerian Government. If stability is to be created, there will have to be dialogue between the religious groups and between the regions, but, above all, the rule of law must function so that these crimes do not go unpunished. Nigeria’s vast resources ought to have brought the country huge wealth, but the opposite has been the case. The oil appears to have brought nothing but problems, such as environmental pollution and the kidnapping of foreigners, and the profits have all been siphoned off to richer countries. But we, the European Union and its citizens, can play an important role in the stabilisation of Nigeria. If the profits from oil extraction did not all go to large international companies, like Shell, then the local population would also be able to benefit from this lucrative source of income. And if these large international companies were to duly pay their tax, then the government could become stronger. For that reason, we urgently need the Transparency Directive to come into being, as my fellow Member, Judith Sargentini, just said. Fairly distributed wealth is a guarantee of stability. In the new plans for the Union’s external policy, principles, such as democracy and rule of law, peace and security, occupy an important place. How the European Union, and the High Representative in particular, assists Nigeria with the current developments will make it clear, in practice, how much store we set by these principles."@en1

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