Niger Delta Minister Urges Global Action Against Stolen Crude Oil Trade in Niger Delta
The Minister for Niger Delta Development, Hon. Engr. Abubakar Momoh, has appealed to the international community for assistance in discouraging the purchase of stolen crude oil in the global market. He emphasized that without international cooperation, crude oil theft would not thrive in Nigeria.
During a meeting in his office, where he hosted Mr. Ruben Alba Aguilera, the Acting Head of Cooperation Team Leader/Head of Section for Democracy, Governance, and Migration at the European Union, Minister Momoh said, “I want to take this opportunity to request your assistance on behalf of the international community to curb the trade in Nigeria’s stolen crude oil because a thief cannot continue to steal if there’s no collaborator.”
Elaborating on the ministry’s mandate, which includes mobilizing both domestic and international donors and agencies to address challenges in the Niger Delta region, the Minister added, “You represent the international community, and we believe your intervention in various areas will greatly contribute to resolving the region’s problems.”
Minister Momoh further explained, “This Ministry is the primary vehicle for executing the government’s plans in the Niger Delta. We are responsible for implementing programs aimed at developing the region, both economically and in other aspects. Additionally, we formulate policies and initiatives to coordinate the activities of other agencies focused on the Niger Delta, ensuring a holistic approach to regional development.”
He highlighted the ongoing projects and programs, including infrastructure development, environmental conservation, and community empowerment. The Minister stressed the importance of international support to fully fund and expand these initiatives, which would help address restiveness, insecurity, and oil production challenges in the region.
Regarding environmental issues, he emphasized the urgent need for constructing inland waterways, canals, and land reclamation to mitigate erosion and flooding, particularly in the wake of the opened Lagdo Dam. He expressed the hope that international agencies could provide aid in these areas.
The Minister discussed the harmonization of various development initiatives in the Niger Delta, seeking international cooperation, technical support, advice, and input to create a comprehensive and cohesive development plan.
He also emphasized the importance of community education, empowerment, and human capital development, including youth and women’s training and the establishment of skill acquisition centers to reduce unemployment and enhance security.
Minister Momoh stressed the critical role of peace and security in the Niger Delta, as instability could negatively impact the nation’s economy. He requested support for tracking oil theft and vandalism through technological solutions.
Furthermore, he highlighted the importance of providing technological skills training, such as solar installation, phone, and computer repairs, to engage youth in productive activities and reduce street-level unemployment.
The Minister also noted the government’s commitment to agricultural training, anti-corruption measures, reducing wastage, and promoting fairness and the rule of law. He expressed the desire for international support in developing a security framework, strengthening both urban and rural security in the region.