Nigerian Government to boost collaboration with oil producing states

Timothy Choji, Abuja

The Federal Government of Nigeria is taking steps to jointly work with oil producing states in the country to curb the activities of pipeline vandals.

Delta State Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa made the pronouncement soon after Tuesday’s security meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Dr Okowa stated that a solution is in sight as government works hard to resolve the crisis in the Niger-Delta region.

Addressing State House Correspondents after the four hour meeting, Dr Okowa, who spoke on behalf of the oil producing states Governors, that attended the security meeting, said after they were adequately briefed by service chiefs, the meeting resolved that there should be more synergy between the federal government the Niger-Delta states.

“We had a very useful meeting; this meeting has revealed a lot of issues. One thing that we have identified is that the synergy between the federal government and the states is very important and we believe that the collaboration between the federal and the affected states will help us to tackle the issues in the Niger-Delta. We believe that we are going to find solutions soon,” he said.

Dr Okowa said military action in the affected areas would be halted for some time, as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari but the waterways would be well protected.

“We also agreed that there is the need to de-scale military operations directly in affected communities but the military need to actually remain on or waterways and ensure that we adequately man the waterways while we engage the communities,” the Governor stated.

Immediate Implementation

On when the resolutions of the meeting will be implemented, Dr Okowa said it will be done immediately, to achieve the desired results.

He also said contrary to speculations, the amnesty programme of the federal government is still in place.

“I don’t think the amnesty programme has been stopped. The process is still on-going. We have a Special Adviser on amnesty and he is doing a lot of work. That I know,” he affirmed.

The meeting which was presided over by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, was attended by Service Chiefs, Defense Minister, Mansur Dan Ali, Minister of State-Petroleum, as well as Governors of Rivers, Delta, Abia, Akwa-Ibom, Ondo and Edo state.