President Muhammadu Buhari says the objective of the Niger Delta militancy is to colonize Nigeria economically by sabotaging oil and gas installations. Buhari was speaking at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa in Abuja , while receiving the German Foreign Minister, Dr Frank-Walters Steinmeier. The president said the militants engaged in sophisticated sabotage using skills acquired from training by either government or oil companies to destroy deep-sea installations.

He said though the security challenge in the North east had been brought under control with the Boko Haram insurgency largely defeated, another serious form of insecurity had 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 there are and we are also working with the oil companies,” he stated. Buhari noted that his administration needed to understand the real agitators and engage in dialogue with them to restore confidence in the region. He said the Niger Delta situation was more complex since the militants had no central command and some of them were mere extortionists, assuring that “a handle would be found to the unrest soon.”

Buhari stated that Germany could help curb oil theft in Nigeria through assistance in the areas of equipment, training, and sharing of intelligence with the Nigerian Navy.

“Nigeria’s oil is stolen and taken away through the Gulf of Guinea. Adequate training and equipping of our navy will prevent this,” he said.

Steinmeier said Germany was happy to hear of the strides taken by the Buhari administration against Boko Haram insurgents, adding that his country was also willing to lend a helping hand in resolving the crisis in the Niger Delta. The German minister lauded the anti-corruption war of the Buhari administration, which he said his country supported. Steinmeier said Germany was also interested in investing in renewable energy, gas exploration, mining, among others, to boost Nigeria’s economy.

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