Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, says the government is engaging leaders and people of the Niger Delta to address the spate of attacks on oil installations in the area.
The Vice President made the statement on Monday at the Presidential Villa during a meeting with a delegation of the European Union led by the EU Ambassador in Nigeria, Mr Michel Arrion.
A group that calls itself the Niger Delta Avengers have carried out series of attacks on oil installations in the region, ending exploration at some cases.
Professor Osinbajo said the attacks amounted to economic sabotage.
In a statement by his spokesman, Laolu Akande, he further said that besides reaching out to the people in the area, the government was also beefing up security.
According to him, the focus of the Buhari presidency “is to ensure that the man on the street in the Niger Delta receives the benefit from all that is available there.”
The Vice President also asked the leaders in the region to be accountable to the people.
Professor Osinbajo pointed out that the government was working round the clock to minimise the losses arising from the attacks.
“We are talking, we are ensuring that we minimise losses and we are stepping up security.
“We are also engaging the international oil companies to see what options exist.”
On economic issues, the Vice President restated the government’s commitment to driving its diversification policy and encouraged investors from European countries to take advantage of the situation especially in the agro-allied and processing industry.
He restated the determination of the administration to ensure that the ease of doing business ranking in Nigeria moved up by at least 20 steps in the World Bank rating.
“The President has approved the composition of a Presidential Commission on the matter to be chaired by himself, the Vice President, and Industry, Trade and Investment Minister, Dr. Okey Enelamah as Vice Chairman.
“In the next few months, we should be seeing some changes.”
On the recent released list of recovered funds from individuals that had looted the nation’s funds without their names, Professor Osinbajo explained that releasing the names of the persons may jeopardise ongoing investigations.
Earlier, Ambassador Arrion said he came to hold consultations with the Vice President as a follow-up on President Buhari’s meeting with EU leaders during his visit to the continent.
He told the Vice President that “Nigeria has a huge market we can invest in. It is also a place we can export from.”
Both the Vice President and the European Union Envoy also discussed the EU trade deal with ECOWAS, the Economic Partnership Agreement, EPA, which was also one of the main issues tabled at the meeting of West African leaders over the weekend in Dakar.
Source: News Express.