Boko Haram, crude oil theft influenced by poverty- Amaechi

Governor Rotimi Amaechi stated this in London, U.K.

The Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, on Thursday said rising insecurity and crude oil theft in Nigeria is influenced by poverty.

Mr. Amaechi stated this in London during a presentation on “Security and Human Rights in the Niger Delta.”

“We need a Nigerian president who will rule the country as a nation; for instance, the issues of Boko Haram, kidnapping and oil theft are poverty related.”

“When people are not meaningfully engaged, they become willing tools for destruction.”

“Government has to create opportunities for people to be educated and engaged,” he said.

He also stressed the need for government to deal with the issue of impunity, saying “we are talking about oil theft and nobody has gone to jail”.

“If we deal with the issues of impunity and poverty, oil theft will reduce, kidnapping and other crimes will be on the decline; this we can do by collaborating with the local and international communities,” Mr. Amaechi said.

The governor said that his administration had put in place various initiatives and schemes in the areas of agriculture, health and education.

“We have built and equipped 500 primary schools with ICT facility” to empower our youths,” he said.

According to him, providing social security through basic amenities is vital to Nigeria’s development.

Among Mr. Amaechi’s audience were some members of the British House of Commons who suggested the use of surveillance aircraft as a better means of tackling incessant cases of oil theft and bunkering in Nigeria.

They said that better surveillance would ensure direct information gathering on what quantity of oil is being stolen and those involved in the crime.

They said that oil theft, insecurity, and environmental degradation were big challenges which required rapid response and synergies between states and the Federal Government.

The members also noted the increased level of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, saying that the development had made it difficult for seafarers to go to West Africa.

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Nigeria has sought assistance of the international community in tackling oil theft by calling for close monitoring and prosecution of companies and individuals involved in the illegal trade.

The event was attended by some Nigerians in the Diaspora and Rivers State students on scholarship scheme in the U.K.



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