President Muhammadu Buhari, Friday, assured oil companies operating in the Niger Delta that the Federal Government is doing its best to protect strategic assets in the region from vandals and criminals.
“We have to be very serious with the situation in the Niger Delta because it threatens the national economy. I assure you that everything possible will be done to protect personnel and oil assets in the region,” President Buhari said while speaking at a meeting with the Global Director (Upstream) of the Royal Dutch Shell Group, Mr. Andrew Brown. He said he has directed the Chief of Naval Staff to reorganise and strengthen the military Joint Task Force (JTF) in the Niger Delta to effectively deal with the resurgence of militancy in the region.
Buhari added that the operations of the JTF have been enhanced with increased support and cooperation from the United States and Europe.
However, he urged the aggrieved communities in the Niger Delta to drop their confrontational stance and work with those who have been charged by the Federal Government to review the Amnesty Programme initiated by the Yar’Adua Administration for the benefit of all parties.
He also urged Shell to do its best to end gas flaring in the Niger Delta and produce more gas for electricity generation.
On his part, Mr. Brown appealed for an urgent solution to rising crime and militancy in the Niger Delta. He also dispelled speculations that the company was pulling out of Nigeria.