President Muhammadu Buhari has said by training Nigeria’s naval personnel and equipping them, as well as sharing of intelligence with the Navy, Germany will be helping the country curb oil theft.
The President stated this yesterday, when he met with the Foreign Minister of Federal Republic of Germany, Dr. Frank-Walters Steinmeier, at State House, Abuja.
“Nigeria’s oil is stolen, and taken away through the Gulf of Guinea. Adequate training and equipping of our navy will prevent this,” he told Steinmeier.
Buhari assured the German minister that Boko Haram has been largely defeated, adding that the security challenge in the North-east of the country was under control.
He described as another form of security threat, the activities of the militants in the Niger Delta whose main aim is to sabotage oil installations in the region.
“Another serious form of insecurity has reared its head in the Niger Delta. The objective is to colonize the country economically by sabotaging oil and gas installations. We are trying to speak with their leaders, to know how many groups are there, while we are also working with the oil companies.
“The militants engage in sophisticated sabotage, using skills they had gained from trainings either by government, or the oil companies, to vandalize installations deep 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,” he said.
Buhari said the Niger Delta situation was more complex, since the militants had no central command, and some of them were mere extortioners, but promised that a handle would be found to the unrest soon.
Steinmeier, in his remarks, expressed the happiness of the German government on the strides the Buhari administration’s was taking against insurgents in the North-east, adding that they were equally willing to lend a helping hand in resolving the crisis in the Niger Delta. He also said the German government was in full support of the fight against corruption, adding that his country was also interested in investing in renewable energy, gas exploration, mining, among others, to boost Nigeria’s economy.
“Germany will support development in Nigeria. We want closer cooperation on migration issues, urbanization, and supporting the navy with equipment, training and intelligence,” Steinmeier said.