The Nigerian government says it has doubled its effort to end pipeline vandalism in the Niger-Delta area of the country as it strives to improve the revenue profile of the country.
The country’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo revealed this in Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara state, North-West Nigeria, while commissioning a 15 kilometre road.
The Vice President, who was in Zamfara on a working visit in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the state, said the sabotage must stop.
He identified the activities of pipeline vandals as one of the main reasons why the country is experiencing recession.
“One of the main reasons why we have experienced this recession is the ill motivated blowing up of pipelines in the Niger-Delta. Our projection for oil is 2.2 million barrels per day but the vandalisation means we are losing one million barrels per day. We were earning up to 300 billion monthly but suddenly in about two months ago, 50 billion,” the Vice President lamented.
Professor Osinbajo added that “We are negotiating with stakeholders in the Delta and we hope that the sabotage of pipelines will stop so that we can increase revenue and enable the common man live decently all over this country.”
He said looters of the economy cannot go scot free as government is determined to hold them accountable.
“We have to talk about corruption again and again because if we don’t talk about it, it will happen again. So we are fighting hard to recover the billions stolen from Nigeria. Corruption always fights back so when you hear the politicians, who we are accusing of stealing money saying ‘where is the change we have promised,’ please tell them that that is like an armed robber, who steals the money of a family and then ask the head of the family why has he not given his wife and children money,” he advised.
The Vice President said President Muhammadu Buhari desires that the common man should have food and there should be peace and security everywhere in Nigeria.
“The desire of President Muhammadu Buhari is that the common man should have enough money to cater for himself and his family and have enough food and that there should be peace and security in this country in this country and I pray every day that we should find that,” he said.
Professor Osinbajo, who congratulated the people of Zamfara for clocking 20 years of existence as a state also urged them to play their part in developing the state.
“I congratulate you on the 20th birthday of your great state. I urge you as citizens to contribute to the development of your state, as citizens to pay your tax, help in law and order and to make sure that you help the poor. I bring you warm greetings from President Muhammadu Buhari, he has asked me to thank you for your patience and steadfastness. He recognizes that the times are difficult but there is hope,” he stated.
While commenting in an interview with Journalists on the projects executed by the Alhaji Abdul-Aziz Yari led administration in the state, the Vice President said he was very impressed.
He said: “I’m very excited about what I have seen here today. I have commissioned roads schools drainages in the state and I am very impressed, a lot of work has been done, you don’t hear a lot about what has been done here in Zamfara state but I’m very happy that I have been able to come and see things for myself.”
Also speaking, the State Governor, Alhaji Abdul-Aziz Yari said the state had every course to celebrate because it has gone through a lot of transformation since its creation in 1996.
“With gratitude to almighty Allah, we have every course to celebrate the 20th anniversary of our existence as a state, taking into account where we were in 1996 and where we are today. Within the period of 20 years, our state has undergone a series of transformation by both the military and civilian administrations, which has significantly impacted on the lives of our people,” he said.
The Governor said the state government will not relent in its effort of transforming the state thereby providing the much needed development in all sectors.
“The administration realizes that investment in critical infrastructure sectors such as roads, education, water supply and health is key to the socio-economic development of the state hence our commitment to the huge investment in these sectors,” Yari stated.
On agriculture, he said: “In Zamfara state, farming is our pride. More than 98 percent of our people are farmers and we have the biggest infrastructure that is Bokulori dam, Natu Lake and many other dams that we use for irrigation farming. All we need is more support from the Federal government.”
The Governors of Sokoto, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal and Kebbi state Atiku Bagudu also graced the occasion.
Projects commissioned by the Vice President include the renovated Government Girls Arabic Secondary School Gusau, newly constructed Continuing Education Secondary School for Women in Gusau,many kilometres of township roads in Gusau as well as other roads in
Bungudu and Maru Local Government Areas.
It can be recalled that Zamfara state was created by the late Sani Abacha regime in 1996 out of Sokoto state and it had since grown, as it now boasts of 14 Local Government Areas, with Gusau, the state capital expanding into a big city.