We’ll treat pipeline vandals like Boko Haram, Buhari warns ….. explains reforms in oil sector

We’ll treat pipeline vandals like Boko Haram, Buhari warns
….. explains reforms in oil sector

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President Muhammadu Buhari has warned that henceforth, the activities of vandals and saboteurs blowing up oil and gas installations will get the same reaction from his government as that being taken against Boko Haram insurgents by the Armed Forces.

Speaking at a meeting with members of the Nigerian community resident in China, as part of his tour to the country, Buhari reaffirmed his commitment to winning the war against corruption, saying that the menace was an arch-enemy of the nation which has destroyed the lives of many Nigerians.

Besides, there are indications that the nation’s oil and gas sector may face yet another threat in the restive Niger Delta region, as some Ijaw communities have reportedly declared a multinational company, Saipem Consortium, persona non grata in their areas.

Addressing Nigerians he met in China, Buhari said:”I ask for your support to make our vision of stamping out corruption a reality in the shortest possible time. Whoever is caught will not be spared. The government is still being dared, but those who are sensible should have learnt a lesson. Those who are mad, let them continue in their madness.

“I am aware that in the last two weeks, the national grid collapsed a number of times. I hope this message will reach the vandals and saboteurs who are blowing up pipelines and installations.

“We will deal with them the way we dealt with Boko Haram,” the president declared, assuring the Nigerian community that the Federal Government was working very hard to overcome national challenges and deliver on its promise of a better Nigeria.

“Clearly, our vision of a diversified and inclusive economy will not be achieved overnight. It will be a long, and in some cases, painful journey. I am very confident we will get there. But we must start that journey now.

“We hear proposals for short cuts or quick wins. However, all we need to do is look at our history to know that there are no quick wins or short cuts in fixing Nigeria. The many decades of damage and destruction cannot be repaired overnight.

“The reform programme we are implementing is not because oil prices are below $45 per barrel today. It is because when oil prices were over $100 per barrel, the majority of Nigerians were still suffering.

“They were simply forgotten and left behind. So, our reforms are to ensure that the majority of Nigerians are not left behind,” the president told them.

Buhari also assured the Nigerian community that his administration was fulfilling its promise to improve security across the country, stressing, “When we came into office in 2015,  Boko Haram insurgents occupied 14 Local Government Areas. Today, I am pleased to say the insurgents have been routed out of these local governments and their capacity to fight as a force has been significantly degraded.

“We will continue working hard to ensure that the group is eliminated. This is achievable. And we will not settle for anything less,” he said.

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