Nigerian energy company tries to clear name

Nigeria LNG Ltd. tied to 2012 corruption charge from U.S. Justice Department.

By Daniel J. Graeber

PORT HARCOURT, Nigeria, March 9 (UPI) -- A Nigerian liquefied natural gas company emphasized its commitment to transparency following accusations it bribed a local government council.

Nigeria LNG Ltd. sought to clear its name after it was accused in unverified social media posts of bribing a local government council in 2014.


"NLNG wishes to set the records straight by categorically stating that the allegations are misleading and false," the company said in a statement Sunday.

The company in 2012 was tied to a corruption charge involving Japanese conglomerate Marubeni Corp. The U.S. Justice Department in 2012 said Marubeni agreed to pay $54.6 million to resolve a "decade-long scheme" to bribe local officials for engineering, procurement and construction contracts.

The allegations against the LNG company coincides with frustration with the administration of Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan. An op-ed piece in the Nigerian Tribune notes Jonathan's critics consider corruption "rampant" in his government, though a recent index from watchdog Transparency International said the situation is improving.

Nigeria is among the country's hit hardest by the low price of oil. The U.S. Agency for International Development in February set up a special $3 million fund for Nigeria to help build non-oil revenue.


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