Fela Kuti – “Sorrow, Tears and Blood.”
The scourge of foreign oil companies in Nigeria.
by Fela Kuti (video). Les Blough (report). Axis of LogicMonday, Oct 22, 2012
An Axis of Logic reader sent us the music of Fela Kuti, “a Nigerian saxophonist and singer who came up with a style of music called afrobeat (fusion of jazz, rock and afro) and who also spent a lot of time in jail for criticizing the politics of his country. One song, ‘Sorrow Tears and Blood,’ tells the story.” The lyrics are provided below the video and the conditions that give rise to Nigeria’s misery follow, with some of the culprits named.
Everybody run run run
Everybody scatter scatter
Some people lost some bread
Someone nearly die
Someone just die
Police dey come, army dey come
Seven minutes later
All don cool down, brother
Police don go away
Army don disappear
Them leave Sorrow, Tears, and Blood
Them regular trademark!
Them leave Sorrow, Tears, and Blood
Them regular trademark
That is why
Everybody run run run…
La la la la
My people self dey fear too much
We fear for the thing we no see
We fear for the air around us
We fear to fight for freedom
We fear to fight for liberty
We fear to fight for justice
We fear to fight for happiness
We always get reason to fear
We no want die
We no want wound
We no want quench
We no want go
I get one child
Mama dey for house
Papa dey for house
I want build house
I don build house
I no want quench
I want enjoy
I no want go
So policeman go slap your face
You no go talk
Army man go whip your yansh
You go dey look like donkey
Rhodesia dey do them own
Our leaders dey yab for nothing
South Africa dey do them own
Them leave Sorrow, Tears, and Blood…
Ah, na so
Time will dey go
Time no wait for nobody
Like that: choo, choo, choo, choo, ah
But police go dey come, army go dey come
In style like this:
[Fela mimics a police siren with his voice]
|In Oil Companies and Corporate Social Responsibility in Nigeria: An Empirical Assessment of Chevron’s Community Development Projects in the Niger Delta, Nigerian O.F. Alabi, Ph.D., writes:
Nigeria, with a population of 160 million is known as the “Giant of Africa.” It is Africa’s top oil producing country. The US government, Britain and France recently featured West Africa as a new global priority. They have warned against the rise of so-called terrorism in the region and are citing this threat as a reason for expanding their military presence in Burkino Faso, Cote D’Ivoire, Mali and Niger. Nigeria (Britain’s former colony) is at the top of the West’s “concern” about security.
In early October, 25 students and staff at a college dormitory in northern Nigeria was linked to the militant group, Boko Haram. It’s a secretive sect that is blamed for nearly 1,400 killings since 2009, which included terrorist attacks on government buildings, police stations, communication facilities, churches and mosques. But some report that western countries are using the violence to consolidate their control over Nigeria’s vast oil wealth.
Some Nigerian analysts believe that Boko Haram is being used by foreign forces as a means of destabilizing Nigeria. Olufemi Ijebuode, a political analyst said of the attack on students:
Boko Haram’s was first formed in 2002 in the city of Maiduguri but beginning in 2009, they became violent, creating mayhem in the country that resulted in extra-judicial assassinations of some of their leaders by the Nigerian government. When they became violent in 2009, they were only armed with homemade weapons, gasoline bombs and even bows & arrows and poison-tipped arrows. But within 2 years they began attacking with assault rifles and bombs. In 2011 the UN headquarters was attacked in Abuja, killing 24 people. In the months that followed, government buildings, churches and mosques were attacked to provoke sectarian hatred and more violence. Sound familiar to anyone?
In his article, “The Looting of Nigeria: BIG OIL’s $140 Billion A Year and Counting”, Thomas C. Mounting wrote:
The foreign governments and oil companies of the west who are robbing Nigerians of their natural resources are only able to keep the people under heel with the help of corrupt politicians and corporate oligarchs.
In an article titled, “Top oil magnates living it up“, praising Nigerian shills for western oil companies, Ayo Onikoyi reports that “Nigeria has its share of billionaires” and that,
“Their histories do not matter. What matters is the height they have reached. They are the men savouring the enchanting taste of our sweet crude.”
Below, we identify some of the Nigerians, many of them retired from political and military positions, who partner up with transnational oil companies and other western corporatons at the expense of their fellow citizens who live in misery:
Aliko Dangote, considered to be the richest Nigerian by Forbes Magazine, owns 25% equity shares in MRS Oil owned by his cousin, Sayyu Dantata, which just bought the controlling share in Chevron Nigeria Limited. He is known as Africa’s cement king. In February, 2012, Dangote announced the opening of a new $1 billion Nigerian cement plant, which is expected to increase his company’s production volume by 40% in that country. Dangote Cement’s capacity is so great that the company has implored the Nigerian government to increase infrastructure investment in time to absorb what they’re calling a “cement surplus.” In late 2010, Dangote listed the company on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, integrating his cement investments across Africa. It’s now the largest company on the Nigerian exchange. He also invested $4 billion to build a new cement facility in the Ivory Coast and is building a $115 million cement plant in Cameroon, plus owns plants in Zambia, Senegal, Tanzania and South Africa. Dangote started trading commodities more than three decades ago after receiving a business loan from his uncle. He then built the Dangote Group, which in addition to cement owns sugar refineries, flour milling and salt processing facilities. The billionaire recently spoiled himself with acquisition of $45 million Bombardier aircraft for his birthday. Forbes Magazine reports his net worth at over $11 billion while others report it at $13.8 billion.
Mike Adenuga. Telecom mogul and oil magnate, Dr. Mike Adenuga is ranked 2nd richest person in Africa according to Forbes Magazine. Apart from his 74% stake in Conoil PLC, a Nigerian-listed oil marketing firm he founded (the stake is held through ConPetro Limited, a holding company he fully owns) and his holding in Equitorial Trust Bank, Adenuga owns 100% equity in all his other businesses. Of those, the major assets include Conoil Producing, Nigeria’s largest indigenous oil exploration and production company, which operates six producing oil blocks and holds a 25% stake in Joint Development Zone Block 4, an oil prospecting license which has proven reserves of close to 1 billion barrels of oil and close to a trillion cubic feet of gas. According to sources at Conoil Producing, the company produces 100,000 barrels of oil per day – much more than any other indigenous exploration firm in the country. In April, Adenuga spent $650 million acquiring Shell’s stake in Oil Mining License (OML) 30, Shell’s most profitable onshore oil block in Nigeria, which is located in the western swamps of the Niger Delta. Adenuga currently controls total equity of Conoil Producing, which analysts estimate could be worth as much as $10 billion. (My calculations are not yet final.) Among his other assets: mobile telecom firms Globacom Holding and Globacom West Africa, two distinct companies with a combined subscriber base in excess of 30 million people and operations in Nigeria, Ghana, and Benin. Adenuga also single-handedly owns Globacom – at least on paper. Adenuga owns equity in Equitorial Trust Bank, one of the few privately-held commercial banks in the country. He also owns extensive real estate holdings in some of Nigeria’s most expensive neighborhoods, including the Mike Adenuga Towers, a landmark building in Victoria Island, Lagos where he is considered the highest property owner in the ‘billionaires playground’ known as Banana Island in Ikoyi, Lagos.”. He also owns property in Banana Island – Nigeria’s most expensive neighborhood – and several other properties in Abuja, London, the U.S and Dubai. He owns a private jet and moves about in customised bullet-proof cars with a platoon of bodyguards.
In August of this year, the Nigerian government blamed Adenuga of involvement with the creation of fuel scarcity in Abuja, through his company, Conoil Plc. In 2009, he was indicted by Nigerian tax authorities for failing to pay $610 million in taxes. At that time, the Federal Inland Revenue Service sealed the Lagos office of Conoil, and Continental Oil and Gas, another company owned by the Adenuga but he was able to avoid arrest and jail time.
Theophilus Danjuma, former Defense Minister, after his military career went into business. His investment in the oil and gas sector is immense. He is rated 21st richest person in Africa by Forbes magazine. He is the Chairman of South Atlantic Petroleum, SAPETRO, an oil exploration company.” Danjuma was reported to have sold an oil block he was given by the regime of Sanni Abacha to a consortium of Chinese investors for $1.7 billion. His net worth is put at $600 million
Oba Otudeko, a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers, United Kingdom, Institute of Chartered and Corporate Accountants with honours amongst others is currently rated 24th richest man in Africa by Forbes magazine. His holding company, Honeywell Group, has a subsidiary, Honeywell Oil and Gas Limited which is a major player in the downstream oil and gas industry. Honeywell Oil & Gas Limited primarily engages in procurement, importation and distribution of fuels and gases as well as production and marketing of lubricants to industrial, automotive and domestic customers. He has had a hand in every business recently and enjoys life at the Radisson Blu at highbrow Victoria Island. His son Adedamola keeps an eye on his interest at First Bank of Nigeria, as a director, where Otudeko also held fort for many years as chairman.
Mohammed Indimi, distinguished and highly successful businessman, Dr. Mohammed Indimi is the sole founder and Chairman of Oriental Energy Resources, Limited. He has over 20 years’ experience in the Nigerian Upstream Oil and Gas sector. Dr. Indimi, is currently rated as the 30th richest man in Africa by Forbes magazine. is an astute business man with a notable presence in the international business arena. He is an in-law of former president Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida and Sani Dangote, brother of Aliko Dangote
Wale Tinubu, When Oando CEO and nephew of Governor Bola Tinubu, Wale Tinubu covers the second issue of Forbes Africa magazine where he was referred to as the “The King of African Oil,” it only brought to fore the grip the Lagosian has in the African oil market. Otedola A very quiet person, almost without social life, Wale started his growth in the oil business at Ocean and Oil Services before entrenching himself as a don in the oil and gas industry. The company he runs, Oando Plc, is a major oil products distribution company.
Femi Otedola is the billionaire owner of multi-billion naira indigenous oil giant Zenon. Zenon, which is directly run by Otedola is the dominant force in diesel business among oil marketing concerns. It supplies this all important fuel used to power the generating sets of most Nigerian industries to nearly all the major manufacturing firms in the country. He is also the CEO of African Petroleum Plc, and at one time appeared as one of only two Nigerians (alongside Aliko Dangote) to appear on the 2009 Forbes list of 793 dollar-denominated billionaires in the world, with an estimated net worth of over US$1.2 billion.
Uduimo Itsueli, It is no surprise that Chief Uduimo Itsueli has turned out to be one of the leading oil magnates in the country. He must have caught the virus for running successful oil ventures at Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) where he was the Managing Director for many years. He is the chairman, Dubril Oil Company Limited, an indigenous oil prospecting company which is a major player in the industry.
High Chief O.B. Lulu-Briggs is the billionaire Chairman and Managing Director of Moni Pulo Limited, one of Nigeria’s leading oil services companies operating under an oil mining license for processing oil and gas, located in the shallow marine waters offshore the coast of Nigeria, 30 km south of the city of Calabar. He has also been a Non-Executive Director at Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc since 2007. His alternate representative on the board is Mrs. Seinye O.B. Lulu-Briggs, the current Esecutive Vice Chairman of Moni Pulo Limited. CEO of Moni Pulo Limited a transnational petroleum services corporation.
Mrs. Seinye O. B. Lulu-Briggs wife of O.B. Lulu Briggs. Chief Lulu Briggs is the chairman and founder of Moni Pulo Limited (MPL), the Oil Mining License OML 114 (ex OPL 230) located in the shallow marine waters offshore the coast of Nigeria, 30 km south of the city of Calabar. Seinye O.B. Lulu-Briggs is CEO of Rachael Hotels and obtained a Diploma in Data Processing from East London University (formerly Eastham College of Technology) in 1981. She was kidnapped on February 6, 2008 and held for ransom, presumably paid before being released 2 days later.
Rilwan Lukman, Afren Plc is an oil company in which Rilwanu Lukman was a former chairman and founder . His stake in the company is less than 3%. The company owns subsidiaries in various African countries of which Nigeria is one of them. Though the family of late George Enemoh (the wife, Grace Enenmoh is the Managing Director) runs the company, the influence of the former Petroleum Minister at several occasions and former Secretary General of OPEC (Oil and Petroleum Exporting Countries) cannot be overlooked.
Colonel Sani Bello, Muhammed Sani Bello is a retired Colonel in the Nigerian Army and former governor of Kano State. After his retirement he became involved in Broad bank Nigeria Ltd, Globe Re Nigeria Ltd, Law Union and Rock Insurance Company Plc, Amni International Petroleum Development Company Ltd, Dantata and Sawoe Construction Company Ltd, MTN Communications Ltd, Equatel Communication Ltd and the President of National Association of Indigenous Petroleum Explorers in Nigeria. OML 112 (formerly OPL 469), is located in the eastern part of the Niger Delta. It covers an area of 437SqKm. OML 117 (formerly OPL 237) is similarly located. He is Chairman, Continental Merchant Bank Plc, Globe Re-Insurance Plc, Chairman, Law, Union & Rock Insurance Plc etc. He also served as the Nigerian High Commissioner to Zimbabwe (1984 to 1986) and the boards of many other different corporations including petroleum services companies in Nigeria.
Stella Oduah, Before joining the Federal cabinet of President Goodluck Jonathan as the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah was the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Sea Petroleum and Gas (SPG), a company she founded almost singlehandedly (sic). Born on January 5, 1962 in Onitsha, Anambra State, Stella knew exactly what she wanted from her early age. After her studies at St. Paul’s College, Lawrence Ville, Virginia in the United States in 1983, Oduah joined the Nigeria National Petroleum Company (NNPC) where she probably came up with the idea and the right connection to own her own oil company.
Ifeanyi Ubah, If nobody had heard of Ifeanyi Ubah, that would have changed since September last year when adverts heralding the celebration of his 40th birthday took over the front pages of major newspapers in the country. His company, Capital Oil and Gas Industries is said to have the biggest and the most modern state-of-the-art depot in Nigeria. With 28 truck loading bays, Capital Oil and Gas Industry Ltd is the only indigenous downstream player capable of pumping out 55million litres of petroleum products per day.
Bola Shagaya, the businesswoman, who is a celebrated personality at social functions started her career at the Audit Department of the Central Bank of Nigeria, before venturing into commercial activities in 1983. She started business with the importation and distribution of photographic materials. She introduced the Konica branch of photographic materials into the Nigerian market and the West Africa Coast.
Ifeanyi Uba, as a woman of many means who has far-reaching connections in the highest of places, she ventured into the oil industry. She is the Managing Director of Pract Oil Limited, a respectable player in the oil industry
Sayyu Dantata, like many of the other mega-rich Nigerians is part of a family dynasty. The Dantata family have been in league with transnationals for decades and have a history of wealth and corruption in the oil and gas sector. Sayyu skated into the nation’s sweet crude through M.R.S. which recently acquired major shares in Texaco/Chevron.
Dantata has a penchant for expensive vintage cars, polo ponies and womanizing. He owns several banks, a private jet, a massive mansion in Banana Island in Lagos and expensive Arabian and Argentine pedigree ponies. He is also known for spending, “mind bugging” according to Nigerian Voice while throwing extravagant parties in London and Paris,
In August of this year, Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Finance named Dantata’s M.R.S. corporation as a suspect in a fuel subsidy scam along with Mike Adenuga’s Conoil Corporation and 21 other gas and oil companies that robbed Nigerian people of $billions. In 2010 Dantata and his company were charged with non-payment of a $50 million load from a consortium of 6 banks. The outcome is not clear but along the way, Dantata attempted to bribe bank officials to write off the loan and not hold him responsible.
The list continues below ….
Nigeria’s rich capitalists in service to western oil companies at the expense of the Nigerian poor are many. The following list provides more, including some of those imaged above, whose wealth starkly contrasts with what Fela Kuti depicts in his video, “Sorrow, Tears and Blood.” and with the average Nigerian who earns about two dollars a day.
1. Aliko Dangote: Owner of Dangote Group and Forbes “richest black man.”
2. Dr Mike Adenuga: Billionaire, Chairman, Globacom, Equitorial Trust Bank, Conoil and others.
3. Jimoh Ibrahim: Global Fleet and Nicon Group, one of Africa’s largest Insurance company
4. Late Sanusi Dantata: Largest licensed buying agent of groundnut and cement. Grand father of Aliko Dangote. He mentored and gave Aliko Dangote a loan of N500,000, excluding other settlement pay in 1976.
5. Olorogun Michael Ibru: The man behind the wealth of the Ibru Family.
6. Pascal Dozie: Silent Billionaire, founder of Diamond Bank, MTN Nigeria Ltd etc.
7. Late Gen Sani Abacha: Former Head of State
8. Rtd Gen Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida: Former Head of State and frontline politician
9. Umaru Abdul Mutallab: Mutallab Group, former chairman of First Bank Plc.
10. Orji Uzor Kalu: Slok Group, former Governor and frontline Politician
11. Alhaji Shehu Dantata: Dantata Group
12. Femi Otedola Chaiman of AP and owner of Zenon Oil and Gas
13. Harry Akande: Frontline politician and Business man.
14. Chris Uba: Business man and “political Godfather.”
15. Oba Otudeka: Honeywell Group and other companies
16. Olusegun Obasanjo: Former president of Nigeria, rumored to be worth about N180bn
17. Late Maryam Babangida: Wife of IBB, Business woman and “stinking rich.”
18. Andy Uba: Business man, frontline politician. Owns lots of properties including two mansions in Maitama Abuja valued at N4bn each. In Maitama, a plot of land goes for nothing less than N800m.
19. Atiku Abubakar: Former vice President of Nigeria and frontline politician.
20. Hajiya Dr Mariya Dantata: Business woman..
21. Chief Rasaq Okoya: Eleganza Group
22. Cosmos Maduka: Owner of Coscharis Group, sole distrbutor of BMW and Ford vehicles in west Africa
23. Pastor Enoch Adeboye: Overseer, Redeemed Christian Church Of God. Owns two Jets and ships.
24. Alhaji Sayyu Dantata: founder, MRS Group. Recently acquired Chevron Nigeria and Texaco
25. Deinde Fernandez: Nigerian business man in diaspora
26. Late sir Mobolaji Bank Anthony: Rich business man with over ten companies
27. Peter Odili: former Governor of oil rich state, owns a jet.
28. Bayo Ligali: MD/CEO Zain Nigeria, also controls other companies.
29. Bola Ahmed Tinubu: former Governor of Lagos state, frontline politician
30. Raymond Dokpesi: Owner of AIT, Daar communication, Ray power etc
31. James Ibori: former Governor of Delta state
32. Chief Cletus Ibeto: founder and owner of the Ibeto Group
33. Otunba Subomi Balogun: Chaiman, FCMB
33. Fola Adeola: founder GTBank
34. Gabriel Osawuru Igbinedion: Okada Group
35. Jim Ovia: founder of Zenith Bank, Visafone Telecom
36. Dele Fajemirokun: Chaiman, Aiico Insurance, Xerox Nigeria, Chicken Republic, Kings Guards etc.
37. Late Yinka Folawiyo: Folawiyo Group
38. Chief Molade Okoya Thomas: Chairman CFAO Nig and other six french companies
39. Umaru Dikko: frontline politician
40. Buba Marwa: former military Governor of Lagos state
41. Late M.K.O Abiola: Business man and frontline politician
42. Sir Emeka Offor: Chrome Group, ERHC Energy inc
43. Wale Babalakin: Chairman, Bi-Courtney
44. Rochas Okorocha: Business man
45. Abdulsamad Rabiu: Chairman/CEO BUA Group
46. Late Augustine Llodibe: Transport Magnate, Ekenedili Chukwu
47. Tony Ezenna: Oranges Drugs Group
48. Alhaji Sani Dangote: Shrewd Northern Business man.
49. Chief Ade Ojo: Elizade Nig Ltd, distributor of Toyota cars
50. Prince Samuel Adedoyin: Doyin Group