PRESS RELEASE: The Gambia Government Under President Adama Barrow, Never Lifted A Barrel of Nigerian Crude Oil
Press Release Dated: Thursday 28th October, 2021
Re: The Gambia Government Under President Adama Barrow, Never Lifted A Barrel of Nigerian Crude Oil
Banjul, The Gambia — Following widespread allegations orchestrated and bandied about by the leader of the United Democratic Party (UDP), Mr. Ousainou Darboe, President Adama Barrow wishes to make it abundantly clear to all citizens, members of the Diplomatic and Consular Corps, that his Government has never, ever, lifted a single barrel of crude oil from the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The allegation that has since been amplified by opposition elements and a section of the news media with reporting styles anathema to all ethical standards of journalism, is fatally false, malicious and without a scintilla of truth. In actuality, negotiations for The Gambia Government to resume benefitting from Nigerian crude oil began in June 2018 while Mr. Ousainou Darboe was Foreign Minister and later, Vice President. The Nigerian Government granted approval in June, 2019 barely two months after Mr. Darboe’s exit from the corridors of power.
Between August and September 2021, The Gambia Government embarked on a thorough examination of the offer based on international standards of due diligence and serious expert evaluations of its costs, benefits and ramifications.
When Cabinet convened on the 6th October, 2021, this matter was discussed under ‘Any Other Business’ (AOB), and not even as a Major Cabinet paper. Following exhaustive evaluation, Cabinet concluded that while the opportunity represented goodwill and generosity on the Nigerian Government, it was costly. Cabinet therefore, quashed the entire programme and not a single barrel of crude oil was ever lifted either directly or indirectly by the Barrow Government.
President Barrow therefore, finds it puzzling that a malicious story premised on falsehood and cheap political propaganda is what some politicians and their media apologists use to caricature and allege corruption and lack of transparency in his Government.
In fact, the ongoing court cases over the Diplomatic Passport saga and the recent arrest, remand and trial of the former Ministry of Fisheries Permanent Secretary, shows the seriousness with which the Barrow Government takes issues of corruption in all places regardless of status or position.
However, judicial processes could be long and cumbersome and as a true believer in the Rule of Law, the principle of Separation of Powers and the independence of the Judiciary, President Barrow does not interfere with judicial processes.
Ebrima G Sankareh
The Gambia Government Spokesperson