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tv   HAR Dtalk  BBC News  May 22, 2017 12:30am-1:01am BST

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from their countries. speaking in saudi arabia, he described it as a battle between good and evil. the president also used strong language against iran, saudi arabia's biggest rival, accusing it of fuelling sectarian conflict and terror. he now travels to israel and the palestinian territories. north korea has confirmed that it successfully tested an intermediate—range ballistic missile. south korea's new government says the latest test has dashed its hopes for peace. and this story is trending on bbc.com — an indian mountaineer is said to have reached the summit of mount everest for the second time in less than a week. anshu jamsenpa, who's thirty—seven, made her first successful ascent on tuesday. that's all from me now. stay with bbc world news. now on bbc news it's time for hardtalk. welcome to hardtalk, i'm stephen sackur.
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when president muhamadu buhari won the nigerian presidency two years ago it seemed like africa's most populous nation had turned a corner. a first ever peaceful democratic transition bought a promise of cleaner, better governance and major economic reform. how's it going? well, my guest today is emmanuel ibe kachikwu, minister of state for petroleum resources. can oil dependent nigeria transform itself into a modern, trading economy? emmanuel ibe kachikwu, welcome to hardtalk. thank you, stephen.
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i guess the lesson of the last two years or so, with president muhamadu buhari in power, is that nigeria remains dangerously overreliant upon oil. well, yes. clearly over reliant. i don't know if it's dangerously. look at the positive sides of oil, in terms of what it has done to the country over the years. when the price slumps, it's dangerous. oh yes. we would love to see, obviously, a lot more diversification, a lot of effort is going into that, emphasis on agriculture, tourism areas, emphasis on services, which have done substantially well in the economy. but obviously we've neglected for quite some years they need to diversify. we need to go at it full steam. we'll talk about the degree to which you are having success in diversification, but if we stick with the impact of the slump in oil prices over the last couple of years, i mean, you've actually,
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despite your growing population, despite all the talk of nigeria becoming a new global powerhouse economy, you've actually been in recession. yes, over the last three quarters, yes. the numbers are getting better. quarter to quarter we're beginning to slide back out of it. the 2016 fourth quarter numbers have moved from about negative 2 point something percent to about 1.63. i haven't seen the ist quarter figures released, which are meant, due to be released by the national bureau of statistics, to be able to confirm. as i understand, the imf is saying that at best you will grow byjust under a full percent over 2017. so it's very sluggish. yes, but that's not unexpected. the reality is that almost a 60% decline in oil income, we have been substantially dependent, and over the years it will have impact. add that to all other manners of uncertainties and the general economy itself and inefficiencies happening there.
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we're going to talk plenty about inefficiencies. here is a fascinating quote. "high oil prices spoilt us, and we've messed it all up." do you know who said that? i don't know, the president? you did! that's true. i think for us, for me certainly, i look at the difficulties that come with the slump as an opportunity to get serious. there were about 30 years where we just kept postponing the evil day. spoiled by oil price and oil money. at the time i was concerned to find it, what can we do in the absence of global oil prices? you're not going to have that happen again. so everybody‘s getting conscious of that. and there's a very conscious effort by the president and his team to focus on what we need to do is to be less reliant on oil. more efficient in terms of how we spend what we have. interesting you say there is very close
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focus from the president on this. one thing the president has been identified with in his first two years or so in office is trying to maintain, against all odds, a very strong currency. now, many people inside and outside nigeria say that is insane. first of all, you develop your own currency black market, which is never a good thing in an economy. but also your undermining the confidence of foreign investors, who simply don't believe it is sustainable. are you going to change that policy? i think we are working progressively towards getting out of that. if you look at the differences in prices, foreign exchange official versus the black market, it has moved from 520, high point of 530, in the black market took about 360—370. the strong policy was a mistake, wasn't it? i'm not a central bank governor, so i hate to call it a mistake. but really, we're faced with difficulties. the reality is we have very little foreign exchange in our hands, we have a lot of massive demands for it, a lot of it going to very luxury goods, which we really
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couldn't afford as a growing nation. what i believe central bank was, in the first one or two years, trying to force people away from that consumption culture. and they succeeded quite substantially. and now that they have, they've begun to release foreign exchange, loosen the market and that of it. i will leave the fiscal and monetary policies to the economists, in terms of how they decide. what i see as a growing trend is the central bank is creeping out of the very aggressive control that it had initially and losing conservative factors in the slide between the black market trade. ok, i put that policy at president buhari's door. and before we get into a discussion of the future of the oil industry and this diversify the economy you want to see in your country, i need to stick with president buhari a little bit longer. 0k. not least because he is clearly seriously ill. now, we speak here in london. you're a minister in the government. you tell me, because most nigerians have no idea what is going on, what is the state of his health today?
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we understand that he is undergoing hospital treatment here in london. have you seen him? have you any idea what's going on? yes, he's in london, undergoing hospital treatment. i don't know the details of that. i obviously wouldn't know. medical information is confidential. i wouldn't disclose that on tv. let me say this, he returned back from his first trip in london, he walked full steam. the doctors had advised some rest. he is back to london, is continuing some levels of meetings, he's been able to place some rules. he has a very efficient vice president, who is sitting in for him in his absence. it really hasn't made much of a difference. you know what? he came to power promising a different, much more disciplined, transparent, open and efficient government in nigeria. one of your main newspapers carried an editorial today saying he is guarding details of his health as carefully as donald trump card details of his tax affairs. what kind of transparency is this?
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the nigerian public deserve and have a right to know what is going on with their nominal leader and chief executive? nigerians generally know the fact he's not well. what is wrong with him? i don't know. where is the transparency in that? let's face it, who in the world goes around giving everybody what their medical status is. the doctors have got to be able to release something official. he is working through it, it's not become a major problem. if he gets to incapacity level, we'll begin to worry a lot more. you know what the rumours are, don't you? you know the rumours in nigeria are that he is desperately ill and, frankly, he may not be capable of leading nigeria for very much longer. well, we've seen rumours about sick presidents often, most of them sometimes not quite correct. will he be able to lead nigeria? i think looking at the sort of conversations i've had with him, i had a lot of interactions with him when he came back, he was strong enough to do his work. he struggled in terms of trying to fully recover. nobody plans and illness, it happens.
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if it happens... nobody is suggesting any fault involved, the issue is about transparency and informing people what is going on. yes, but he has an efficient number two man. the system works, that's the whole essence of democracy. he's on top of his abilities to be able to issue policies, to approve what he needs to approve. it's partly about certainty and stability. the chief of your armed forces has just issued a statement in this somewhat febrile, rumour filled atmosphere, telling those in uniform not to engage in politics. i.e — not to begin any process of meddling, interfering in politics, when there is no, frankly, there is a vacuum of leadership at the very top of your country. this is an extremely worrying. no, no, no, ithink the press is taking it out of context. they think what the chief of the army was saying, look it's something they have rhetorically said all the time, the new army that we have, subject itself to civilian democracy. and that is the opinion every chief
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of army staff will give. it's not related to the president's circumstances. it is an ongoing education by the military forces. back to the direction of travel of your government. you are the minister of state for petroleum. you are a former, senior executive in exxon, and i think you directed the national petroleum corporation for some time, so i can't think of a man more steeped in the oil business than you. absolutely. what on earth has gone wrong, when you see that your output levels today, roughly 2 million barrels per day, are miles away from your grand ambition of 3 million barrels a day? in fact last year you sunk so low in terms of production you were overtaken by angola in african output. it's a disastrous story. short and long—term. the short term answer, the militants in nigeria disrupted production. and got us the slump that you saw, from 2.2 million
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barrels all the way down to 1.2. and it's taken a lot of work from myself and the niger delta vice president to get that back on track. when you say a lot of work, you mean buying off the militants? no, no, no. you fed them hundreds of millions of naira to stop them attacking the infrastructure. they don't have the money to feed anybody. it's been simple engagement. i've always said that. what the situation demands is simple respect and engagement. i've been very intensive about engagement since i was appointed. the vice presidentjoined me in that recently. the president has authorised it. that was a dramatic about face, that we did that. what had happened previously, the militants got the impression that nobody was taking them seriously. nobody was listening to their problems. and i'm going to be doing that engagement continuously in terms of trying to provide some economic blueprints of direction. so that was the short reason why we have declined. in terms of meeting our national goals of 3 million, 3.5 million barrels, to which
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i am very committed, the problem had been think we had no focus and no long—term plans. long—term investment. long—term infrastructure. we now need to begin to do that. even though this is a difficult time to do that. we'll talk about that, because you do have big plans, the question is whether you can deliver them. one more point on the niger delta. i'll be honest with you, you are the ultimate insider. you know, i just described your career. are you ashamed of what has happened in the niger delta? a fairly recent un development programme report on the region, you're oil—producing region, says this is a region suffering from administrative neglect, crumbling social infrastructure and services, high unemployment, social deprivation, abject poverty, filth, squalor and endemic conflict. that is the region that generates the cash cow which keeps nigeria afloat. it is shaming, is it not? it may be shameful, but you look at every oil—producing country in the world, you have the same similar neglect.
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i don't know why that happens, i think we take it for granted. that once you leave the oil, you can go off. and we need to begin to address that. notjust the national government, the oil companies that are also there. because they mind, quite frankly, about 80, 80% of our oil, established oil companies. we've got to begin to require some level of transparency and engagement by them of the local workforce also. notjust the government. yes, we've not done well in the past on this. i think we could do better. some of the money, over the period we're talking about, over the last ten years, over a0 billion has also been sunk into those areas. but where is the money? a lot of it went to corruption, a lot of that was siphoned out. so money's even meant for the local population... billions, over the last 50 years, hundreds of billions of dollars have been siphoned out of the oil business. yes, yes, so... and somebody has taken it. people have taken it, that is why the president's main focus when he came here was fighting corruption and fighting it aggressively. and i think that if there was one area he
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is focused immense attention on, it has been dealing with corruption. you are pushing this petroleum industry bill. as i understand, one of the key pillars of that bill is that more of the revenues that come out of the oil business stay in the region from which they come. the rest of your country doesn't like that one little bit. there are indicators senior politicians in your parliament are not going to allow you to steam—roll through this bill in the way you would like. actually, the foreign bill that you have is actually a members bill, senate bill, not even from the executive. the executive, including myself, have cooperated as much as we can in terms of giving data that is required to get a signed bill. yes, there is an intent to try and put a bit more in the niger delta area. yes, they are obviously given the final discussed results, there were obviously grumblings in terms of how it is applied. but when i meet with them, i see a commonality of purpose. i hear the history of
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niger delta is heated, and everybody is trying to find a solution. 0ne quick way of that is to enhance the ability of other component states, to be able to stand economically. and including findings of oil in the north. so i think i see a lot of collaboration, despite the disagreements in terms of what the percentages of the water numbers would be, but i'm still a lot more focused on governance. how do you use what eventually get into the territories well? how do we get the government to take responsibility for money that gets there? how do we get local governments, how do we get the citizens themselves? how do people who make a lot of money from oil pay enough tax to the government? nigeria's probably the least taxed nation in the world so everybody‘s focused on... well, it would help if you actually delivered on some of your promises to clean up the corruption endemic notjust in the sector but across all economic sectors, by actually putting some very senior
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people, both public figures and fat cat businesspeople, into a court of law, and saying, no more of this. and here are the figureheads and we're going to take them through the courts. well, stephen, to a court of law we have. i think this president has put a whole lot more people than all successive governments collectively put together. i'm talking about the top people. absolutely. name me a few. the ministers of the... defence chiefs, who have been tried. governors who have been tried. it's not happened before. even thejudiciary. your carefully saying "being tried". how many convictions of these top people have you actually seen? just like in any system in the world including yours, you don't re—route judiciary. you have agreed with me that hundreds of millions of dollars has been taken out of the nigerian economy, somebody‘s taking it, and you're telling me, unfortunately, a lot of these people who we take to trial we can't convict. somebody is responsible. somebody‘s responsible. whoever is responsible, we're putting them into court. the court process has got to work. one of the, and i'm a lawyer, i studied to pg level in law, i wonder the difficulty sometimes of corruption is that because as much as there ought to be the bastion of justice,
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take the time. the common law system is grinding at a slow pace. so again, if the president was to turn around and say anybody that had any suspicion, yank them into jail, we have an opera in the world. what's going on? until they are found guilty, there's not too much we can do. what is important, investigations are going on, it is very active, people are being picked up, they are not respecters of person. all the big names are being locked up where they can. and put through the trial process. but the trial process must take its time, there's not too much you can do about that. let's get back to what you can do something about personally, and that is the reshaping of the oil business. you talked about diversification, and we can talk about taking diversification way beyond oil to other sectors, transportation, agriculture, etc. but on oil, one of the fundamental problems is that you have this wonderful resource but you don't do anything with it. what you do is ship it out and much of the value is then given to others, they refine it, then you buy it back.
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you've got the most extraordinary system where, i think i'm right in saying, you're refined petroleum imports were highly in march 2017 than they've ever been before. i mean, your industry is totally dysfunctional. no, no, steve not quite that. let me say this. yes, it is wrong. we ought to process, rather than ship out crude. if you look at all the efforts are made in the last few months, including measures for working with investors to begin to reshape the refineries that have been comatose for very many years. and actually came... comatose? how can, in an ambitious modern state, how can you have refineries lying comatose? it is what it is, the president is there for two years. the refineries went down before he came. since coming, we've been able to get them back, to begin to produce several million litres versus zero. that's not the 90% complete. we're now refurbishing the refineries, i'vejust signed an agreement to build a new refinery in nigeria. we're focused on multinationals, focusing on an processes.
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may i say, you're very good at setting out targets, you know, more than 3 million barrels a day of production, you say by 2020 we want to eliminate petroleum import. wonderful ambitions, but you give no sign of being able to deliver. steve, i've delivered on everything i promised when i came into office. first, i took an nmpc and made it into a profit—making organisation. first time in history. i reshaped the organisation. i removed cash deficits of over 6 billion, 0k? everything i've promised i've delivered. i will deliver an the refineries, and i'm committed to that. i will also deliver a future for oil that makes sense for nigeria. but bear in mind, one has been there for one and a half years, the president has been there for two years. i can't pretend that we're going to solve in one day all the problems that happen in nigeria in the past. we'll solve the niger delta militancy problem. it was there, we sorted it after one and a half years. and when i say solve, listen, i'm not saying it has gone away. when is nigeria going to be
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self—sufficient in terms of refined petroleum ? i have targeted 2019, that is the target i gave. 2019? yeah. you're running out of time because you're nowhere near right now. no, steve, don't worry, i put the date, i'll work it. and if you don't achieve it, you'll walk? yes, of course, that's the reason why you're in government. that's called accountability, isn't it? yes, absolutely. will their‘s not much of that in the nigerian government at the moment. well, we're trying to put it in place. do you wonder, and it goes back, in a sense, to mr buhari and his ability to impose his leadership on the cabinet, on the country, do you worry that, you know, he is not in a fit state right now to knock heads together and deliver on the promises of better government, economic diverse a vacation. democracy‘s not a case of knocking heads, it's a business of persuasive ability to lead. he does possess that ability. he also has his leadership qualities, he does have the discipline, he's
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an incorru ptible leader. those other that we need. my underlying is, mandela in his last days, these last years, was not the" go do it" individual and he was a leader, a perceptive leader. and that's what we need. and so i think he's able to deliver on that as of now. and we're happy with the job that he's doing and we're going to work around that. we just, you just powerfully said, i believe in accountability, and you said you would walk if you didn't achieve what you promised. a significant anti—corruption organisation in nigeria has looked at the state of buhari's promised to clean up government in your country. they've asked a series of interesting questions, i wonder if you can answer them for me. 0ne, why does — the nigerian government budget asks — need 11 different aircraft for ministerial use? in a recession, just coming out of recession. there isn't any budget, let there isn't an aircraft for ministers, ministers don't use aircraft. we travel, we travel public. there are some presidentialjets, some of which have been put up for sale. i don't have quite the details. but i think he's down from an initial 11—12, down to something like about seven, and only two or three really proper conditions for usage.
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and he has given, i know he has given some authorisation for some to be sold. in terms of numerical accountability, he has reduced that substantially. ministers try to travel in business class by commercial airlines. one other thing, we can go from the specific to the board, how can the government release 400 billion naira for capital expenditure, giving no proper detail of how this money is going to be spent? that's not true, there is a proper detail on how the money's going to be spent. budgets arejust not resilient in the air. there are specific ministries who provide details. they are vetted and approved. i know that the biggest chunk of that is going to capital spend, in terms of infrastructure, rail roads taking up quite a bit of that, roads are taking quite a bit of that. the whole idea was, given
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the deficit position with the economy, we need to spend our way, in difficult times come out of it. so a lot of capital expenditure has gone into construction. right, we must end, i think, reflecting on the biggest pitch of all. the tragedy of nigeria. which is that while you focus on trying to reinvigorate the economy and your sector, the oil industry, the fact is in the north of your country, according to the un, there are nearly half a million children in grave danger of starvation. a result, in one way or another, of the boko haram insurgency. isn't that the ultimate condemnation of nigeria today? you are a country, oil—rich, half a million kids they starve to death. steve, come on. are you going to say that the attacks in london by terrorists is the fault of london? no. boko haram isn't the fault of nigeria. it's the happenstance we've found. buhari has been able to deal with it very effectively. when he came into position, we had literally about 28
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of our local governments in the hands of boko haram. today it's zero. now there is fallout from some of this, some of those are social. we need to do better. but there is a lot of work going into funding provision, we have a lot of international support, international assistance. but clearly we inherited problems that were major, nobody better, quite frankly, at that time, in terms of security imperatives, to deal with this issue than buhari. i think he's dealt with it effectively. innovate... we have to end... in a way you're saying buhari's promised to eliminate boko haram. he's going to deliver on it? yes, he's working very hard at it. does anybody promised on 100% basis? to eliminate militants or eliminate terrorism? nowhere in the world has that been achieved. the key things that taken back the territories. that is key. that is the first control. now when somebody explodes a bomb somewhere you can't prevent, potentially, yes. we're going to keep working at that. we have to end there. emmanuel ibe kachikwu, thank you very much. thank you very much. for being on hardtalk. thank you.
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hello there. the weather has been warming up over the past couple of days, and that warming trend is set to continue through much of this week. here was a scene taken by one of our weather watchers in cornwall during sunday. some sunny skies there, bit of cumulus cloud. a similar picture through much of this week. things are going to be warming up and feeling quite sunny, and largely dry conditions on the cards, too, down to the fact that we've got high pressure which is going to be in charge of our weather.
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at the moment it is sitting out to the east, and we have an area of low pressure. now, through monday, then some of us will see some rain on this fairly weak front. during monday morning that is pushing into western parts of northern ireland, bringing patchy showers, heading to the western isles of scotland, as well, but for the rest of scotland it is a fine start to your monday morning commute. 8:00am in the morning, some sunshine here. cloudy with a few spots of drizzly rain likely across northern ireland. but, as we head our way south across the whole of england and wales, it is a dry picture here. temperatures in the mid—teens by the time we get to 8:00am in the morning, so a pleasant monday morning to start off your working week. light winds, too, and is looking dry and settled. it stays that way through the course of monday across england and wales. further north, for northern ireland and into scotland later on, we will start to see that rain moving its way slowly from west to east. it will be followed by some sunshine, but temperatures here at 17 or 18 degrees under the cloud, with a little light rain. but further south, 2a, possibly 25 celsius. we could see the warmest day of the year over the next few days.
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now, monday evening and overnight into tuesday, that rain pushes into the northern isles, sitting here for a while, but elsewhere across the uk a largely dry, clear start to tuesday morning. could be one or two mist patches around, but it should be a frost—free sort of morning. now, through tuesday as the high—pressure starts to push in from the south, we're going to be drawing in a westerly breeze, and with those westerly winds coming in from the atlantic, we are going to bring a bit more cloud around western hills and coasts, perhaps hill fog and some drizzle for the hills of wales, for instance, and western scotland, too. meanwhile, for central and eastern parts of the country, that is your best bet of catching some long spells of sunshine. it won't be quite as warm, a bit more cloud around in general, and temperatures around 23 degrees on tuesday. wednesday is going to be another warm day, with high pressure well and truly in charge. so dry pretty much across the board, i think, on wednesday. perhaps the slight chance of a shower in the north—west and temperatures between around about 17 to 2a or 25 degrees. that warming trend continues
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towards the end of the week. by the time we get to friday, we could well see 26 degrees, or even a little bit more. enjoy, bye for now. i'm rico hizon in singapore, the headlines: on his first foreign tour — president trump urges muslim nations to take the lead in fighting terror. drive them out of your community, drive them out of your holy land — and drive them out of this earth. after saudi arabia — the us president heads to israel and the palestinian territories — to push for peace. i'm kasia madera in london. also in the programme. north korea confirms the country's latest ballistic missile test. south korea says it dashes hopes of building bridges. and — the film that's fighting convention:
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