President Muhammadu Buhari has urged Nigeria’s Western allies to designate the Indigenous People of Biafra as a terrorist group over its alleged involvement in pipeline and infrastructure vandalisation.
Buhari made this request while speaking in an interview with Bloomberg.
He noted that his administration had intensified efforts in combating oil theft and vandalism, among others.
Buhari said, “Criminality and terrorism in oil-producing regions hamper production, and it would help if our western allies designated IPOB as a terrorist group, given their complicity in damage to pipelines and infrastructure.
“We have invested in our security forces, including the $1 billion military deal with the U.S. for the acquisition of A-29 Super Tucano aircraft.
“These efforts are making an impact: wells that had to be closed due to criminality have now re-opened. With these efforts, OPEC has raised our quota for next month.”
The President also recalled that four years ago Nigeria unveiled plans for a new gas pipeline that would connect Nigeria to Europe.
According to him, “Last week (2nd June) – in record time – the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) entered into an agreement with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for its construction.
“On July 1st, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) will become a limited liability company and be subject to more robust auditing and commercial disclosure obligations.”
Speaking further, he said the transition would help to stimulate investment and boost transparency inspite of the negative effects of corruption.
“My administration is the first to pass this landmark reform of our oil and gas sector, after two decades of predecessors’ failure to do so – no doubt due to vested interests,” he said.
On the country’s electricity supply issues, Buhari stated, “First, we need for more input. Our legislative framework has been a drag. The landmark PIA (see later answers) will bolster input, raise capital, and bring transparency to the system.”
Concerning the modernisation of the country’s grid system, he said there are hundreds of ongoing projects and initiatives attracting funding from investors.
Buhari said, “Take my Presidential Power Initiative (PPI), a government-to-government initiative between the Governments of Nigeria and Germany, with Siemens AG, to upgrade the electricity grid with a $2 billion investment.
“Once signed into law the constitutional amendment bill – recently voted through parliament – will allow state governments to generate and transmit their own electricity, further facilitating investor participation in our market and enabling states and local businesses to transmit excess supply to the grid.”
He added that Nigeria was also decentralising the national grid through renewable-driven mini-grids.
“The $550 million Nigeria Electrification Project has deployed more than 20,000 Standalone Solar Systems (SHS), as well as Solar Hybrid mini-grids in over 250 locations,” he said.