We’ll Solve Niger Delta Problem Soon, Buhari Assures Obama
He told the American leader that the crisis in the region had led to economic sabotage on a grand scale.
The Nigerian leader gave the assurance during a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the 71st edition of the UN General Assembly, holding in New York.
He said: “We are making definite progress on how many factions of the militant groups exist, their leadership and operational basis, and we have equally sought the cooperation of the oil majors. In a short while, I believe the issues would be resolved”.
While thanking America for help rendered in the area of security through provision of armaments, training for Nigerian troops, and sharing of intelligence, which has led to the degradation of Boko Haram in the North East, President Buhari said the country was open to support in combating the humanitarian crisis currently ravaging the region.
The President said the farming season was good this year, with the prospect of good harvest, and “Nigeria is on the road to food self-sufficiency soon.
“We shall be able to feed ourselves, and utilise the billions of dollars spent on importing food on other productive areas”.
President Buhari reiterated that his administration came to power on the tripod promises of security, battle against corruption, and revamping of the economy, stressing that there would be no let-up in fulfilling those electoral promises.
He wished President Obama a happy retirement, as he winds down gradually on his tenure in office.
Responding, the American President described President Buhari as a man of “integrity and honesty,” saying: “We have confidence in your leadership.
“There are some difficulties you face, but this administration is willing to assist in the short time we have left. You have made real progress in defeating the brutal organization called Boko Haram, and that was achieved because of your leadership”.
A statement by the spokesman for President Buhari, Mr Femi Adesina, said President Obama offered a hand of fellowship to Nigeria “in the final and comprehensive defeat of Boko Haram, resolution of the Niger Delta crisis, which would help ramp up oil production and increase revenue, resolving the humanitarian crisis in the North East region, recovering stolen money and revamping the economy”.
Describing Nigeria as a big and important country in sub-Saharan Africa, the American President said his country looked forward to a framework for sustained partnership between the two nations.
On Monday, Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, linked the economic recession the nation is experiencing with the activities of militants in Niger Delta.
Militancy had resurged in the region months after President Buhari took over power, with several attacks on oil installations, forcing oil companies to declare force majeure.
The nation’s revenue, which largely comes from crude oil sales has also dipped, with oil output dropping by over 700,000 barrels per day to 1.56 million barrels per day.