Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has charged the Federal Government to collaborate with oil producing states to tackle economic sabotage being perpetrated by oil thieves.
Blaming collusion between oil thieves and security agencies for huge oil losses in the country, he said the situation should spur stronger ties between the Federal Government and oil-bearing states to nip the menace in the bud.
He made the assertion when the country representative of Konrad Adenauer (German Foundation), Dr. Vladimir Kreck and German federal parliamentarians, Andreas Lammel and Dr. Joachim Pfeiffer visited him at Government House, Port Harcourt.
Wike explained that oil bunkering has continued to worsen due to participation of security agencies detailed to check activities of oil thieves who have stolen over 22 million barrels of crude oil between January and June this year.
“Security agencies are fully involved in oil bunkering. If the Federal Government comes out strongly and partner with the states, we will resolve some of the problems. Also, security has been politicised in this country, which is unfortunate,” he said.
Wike also stressed that the state’s security framework has been adversely affected by activities of international oil companies (IOCs) that now award pipeline surveillance to members of cult groups.
While soliciting collaboration with the German Government and the German Foundation to fight insecurity, he said the Rivers State Security Council took a decision in liaison with the oil majors to stop patronising cult groups with surveillance jobs.
Responding, Kreck explained that their visit to the state was to advance economic development, adding: “We have been providing support for the development of Nigeria’s democracy since 2001. In Rivers State, we have been providing capacity building for lawmakers and security agencies.”
He said the foundation invited two German lawmakers to Nigeria to acquaint themselves on the country’s economic development programmes.
On his part, Lammel said they visited the country and Rivers State in particular to understand the economic development process and discuss oil production and other issues of mutual benefits.
Also, Pfeifer explained that visiting Nigeria would afford him opportunity to build cooperation between the two countries.