Yemisi Izuora/Joseph Bakare
As oil theft and militancy in the country persists, President Muhammadu Buhari has asked Germany to help the government in curbing the menace.
Buhari is looking up to Germany to extend assistance in the areas of equipment, training and sharing of intelligence with the Nigeria Navy.
Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, to the president Mr Femi Adesina, in a statement said Buhari made the call during an audience with the Foreign Minister of Germany,
Dr Frank-Walters Steinmeier, in Abuja.
According to the president, Nigeria’s oil is stolen and taken away through the Gulf of Guinea.
He, therefore, called for adequate training and equipping of the Nigeria Navy to check criminal acts.
President Buhari disclosed that the security challenge in the North-East of the country was under control, with Boko Haram largely defeated.
He, however, stated that another serious form of insecurity had reared its head in the Niger Delta.
The President, however, added that “we are trying to speak with the Niger Delta leaders to know how many groups are there, and 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 vandalise 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.”
President Buhari added that the Niger Delta situation was more complex, as the militants had no central command and some of them were mere extortioners.
He assured that the Federal Government would soon find a lasting solution to the social unrest.
In his remarks, Steinmeier said Germany was happy to hear of the strides taken by the Buhari-led administration against insurgents in the North-East.
He said that his country was equally willing to lend a helping hand in resolving the crisis in the Niger Delta.
He applauded the war against corruption, saying it had his country’s support.
Steinmeier said Germany was also interested in investing in renewable energy, gas exploration, mining, among others, to boost Nigeria’s economy.
He added that “Germany will support development in Nigeria.
“We want closer cooperation on migration issues, urbanisation and supporting the navy with equipment, training and intelligence.”
Meanwhile, the Federal Government is said to have made up its mind to order the return of the Special Military Intervention force, Operation Crocodile Smile, which was largely successful in check mating the militants and destroying their camps in the creeks.
In preparation for the renewed exercise, the Military High Command has been asked to re-energise its intelligence networks in the Niger Delta region while a massive redeployment of operatives from the security agencies has been carried out.
President Muhammadu Buhari had said that “The repeated attacks in the Niger Delta have been impacting negatively on oil revenues.”
speaking at the Passing out Parade of Cadets of the 63 regular course of the Nigerian Defence Academy, NDA, in Kaduna he said, “For the avoidance of doubt, let me state that other options are still open including decisive military action, if necessary, to deal with the criminal elements disguised in ethnic regalia to sabotage the country largely for their selfish and parochial interests.”