Prosecution of oil thieves starts soon, says Buhari
PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has given a firm assurance that the prosecution of those found to have stolen Nigeria’s crude oil would soon commence, just as he restated the determination of his administration to fully sanitize Nigeria’s oil industry and make it free of corruption and shady deals.
Speaking at a meeting on Sunday (esterday in New York with President Xi Jinping of China on the sidelines of the 70th General Assembly of the United Nations, Buhari said a necessary first step in this direction had already been taken with the appointment of a new management for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and its subsequent re-organisation.
The President who also said the prosecution of those who misappropriated the NNPC’s revenue under past administrations would soon commence thanked Jinping for China’s ongoing help in curbing crude oil theft in Nigeria.
In a statement by his spokesman, Femi, Adesina, the Buhari lauded China’s interception of shiploads of crude oil stolen from Nigeria, and which were to be sold with the proceeds to be paid into private accounts.
“We know your stand on corruption, and we are grateful. Your continued cooperation in curbing oil theft from Nigeria will be appreciated,” Buhari told the Chinese leader.
He also assured Jinping that under its new leadership, the Nigerian military had been re-trained and re-equipped, and was now making steady gains against Boko Haram.
On his part, Jinping told Buhari that China, which is already involved in Nigeria in diverse areas like railway, airports, agriculture, and in the Mambilla Hydro-power project, among others, will increase its investment in the country’s agricultural sector to support the achievement of domestic food security.
He also promised further Chinese investment in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry and more support for human capital development.