President Muhammadu Buhari has requested Germany’s assistance to help curb crude oil theft in Nigeria.The president wants Germany’s assistance in provision of equipment, training and sharing of intelligence with the Nigeria Navy.
The President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, disclosed on Monday that the Buhari made the call when the Foreign Minister of Germany, Dr Frank-Walters Steinmeier, called on him in Abuja.
Nigeria’s oil is stolen and taken away through the Gulf of Guinea, President Buhari said and called for adequate training and equipping of the Nigeria Navy to check criminal acts.
President Buhari said the security challenge in the North-East of the country was under control, with Boko Haram largely defeated, but that 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 extortionists. 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.”