Buhari seeks Germany’s assistance on intelligence sharing, others to curb oil theft
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday sought the assistance of Germany in the provision of equipment, training and sharing of intelligence with the Nigerian Navy to help curb oil theft in the Niger Delta.
Buhari, receiving Germany’s Foreign Minister, Dr. Frank-Walters Steinmeier, at State House in Abuja, said: “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 the visitor that the security challenge in the North-East of the country was under control with Boko Haram largely defeated “but 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.”
He stressed: “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.”
The President said the Niger Delta situation was more complex since the militants had no central command and some of them were mere extortionists, but promised that a solution would be found soon.
Steinmeier said Germany was happy to hear of the strides taken by the Buhari administration against insurgents in the North-East, adding that Bonn was willing to help in resolving the crisis in the Niger Delta.
Steinmeier, who said his country’s was also interested in investing in renewable energy, gas exploration, mining, among others, to boost Nigeria’s economy, added: “Germany will support development in Nigeria. We want closer co-operation on migration issues, urbanisation and supporting the Navy with equipment, training and intelligence.”