Eni CEO to Meet Nigerian President Over Hostages

The head of Italian oil giant Eni, Paolo Scaroni, is in Nigeria to meet President Olesegun Obasanjo to discuss the fate of oil workers kidnapped this month, a company spokesman said on Wednesday.

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) abducted one Lebanese and three Italian workers on Dec. 7 from the Brass oil export terminal operated by ENI unit Agip.

The militant group has accused the Italian oil company of offering ransoms for their release and said they would rather kill the men than free them for cash.

It is demanding the release of two jailed leaders from the Niger delta, compensation to villagers for oil pollution, transfer of control over oil resources from the government to local communities and reparations for 50 years of "enslavement" by the oil industry in return for the hostages.