President Buhari

Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari has said militants of the Niger Delta region who blow up oil installations have the objective of colonising the country economically.

The President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina revealed this in a statement. Adesina said Buhari made the remarks while discussing with visiting Foreign Minister of Germany, Dr Frank-Walters Steinmeier.

While noting that the insecurity in the North-East of Nigeria has been drastically reduced with the near-total defeat of Boko Haram, Buhari regretted that another terrible security threat was happening in the Niger Delta. He told his guest:

“Another serious form of insecurity has reared its head in the Niger Delta. The objective is to colonise the country economically by sabotaging oil and gas installations. We are trying to speak with their leaders, to know how many groups there are and we are also working with the oil companies.

“The militants engage in sophisticated sabotage, using skills gained from trainings either by the government or the oil companies, to vandalise installations in the sea.

“We need to understand who the real agitators are, and engage with them, so that confidence can be restored in the region.

“The Niger Delta situation is more complex, since the militants have no central command, and some of them are mere extortioners.”

President Buhari however expressed optimism that the situation in the Niger Delta would soon be solved. One area in which the Nigeria President felt Germany could assist his country was that which has to do with the problem of oil theft. According to Buhari, Nigeria’s oil is stolen and shipped away through the Gulf of Guinea and he believed Germany could assist in curbing this by helping to provide adequate equipment and training for the Nigerian Navy. He also said Nigeria and Germany could co-operate in this regard through the sharing of intelligence.

The German Foreign Minister in responding to Buhari, promised that his country would support development in Nigeria. He said Germany was happy with the achievements recorded already by the Buhari administration in the fight against Boko Haram and the war against corruption.”

Said Steinmeier: “Germany will support development in Nigeria. We want closer co-operation on migration issues, urbanisation, and supporting the Navy with equipment, training and intelligence.”

He also said Germany was interested in investing in Nigeria in the areas of renewable energy, gas exploration and mining.