- President Buhari said Germany can help curb oil theft in Nigeria
- On the Niger Delta crisis, he said the militants intention was to colonize Nigeria's economy
- Germany's foreign minister, Dr Frank-Walters Steinmeier, said they were willing to lend a helping hand
President Muhammadu Buhari said the objective of the Niger Delta militants is to colonize the country economically by sabotaging oil and gas installations.
He said this on Monday, October 10, during an audience with the Foreign Minister of Federal Republic of Germany, Dr Frank-Walters Steinmeier, at State House, Abuja.
Buhari told Steinmeier that Nigeria's oil is stolen, and taken away through the Gulf of Guinea and adequate training and equipping of the Nigerian navy will prevent this.
The president asked for the help of Germany in curbing oil theft in Nigeria through assistance in the areas of equipment, training, and sharing of intelligence with the Nigeria navy.
“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 crisis in the Niger Delta region was more complex, since the militants had no central command, and some of them were mere extortioners.
Buhari told the visitor that the government was trying to speak with their leaders, to know how many groups there are, and also working with the oil companies.
He promised that a solution would soon be found to the unrest.
The president added that with Boko Haram largely defeated, the security challenge in the northeast of the country was under control.
In response, Steinmeier said Germany was happy to hear of the strides taken by Buhari’s administration against insurgents in the northeast.
He said they were willing to lend a helping hand in resolving the Niger Delta crisis.
"Germany will support development in Nigeria. We want closer cooperation on migration issues, urbanization, and supporting the navy with equipment, training and intelligence,” Dr Steinmeier said.
He added that his country was also interested in investing in renewable energy, gas exploration, mining, among others, to boost Nigeria's economy.