Tobi Soniyi in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has warned Niger Delta militants to stop further vandalization of pipelines and related assets.
Buhari, in a nationwide broadcast to mark his one year in office as president, said his government would arrest the vandals and those sponsoring them.
He said: “The recent spate of attacks by militants disrupting oil and power installations will not distract us from engaging leaders in the region in addressing Niger Delta problems. If the militants and vandals are testing our resolve, they are much mistaken. We shall apprehend the perpetrators and their sponsors and bring them to justice.”
The president said his government was fully aware that those vested interests who had held Nigeria back for so long would not give up without a fight.
“They will sow divisions, sponsor vile press criticisms at home and abroad, incite the public in an effort to create chaos rather than relinquish the vice-like grip they have held on Nigeria,” he added.
He said his government remained committed to implementing the United Nations Environment Programme report on the Niger Delta.
He said: “We are advancing clean-up operations.
“I believe the way forward is to take a sustainable approach to address the issues that affect the delta communities. Re-engineering the amnesty programmes is an example of this.
The president who had earlier promised to disclose how much stolen assets had been recovered said that the Ministry of Information and Orientation would now release full details of stolen assets recovered from those who looted the treasury.
The president admitted that the one year he had been in office has been tough.
He also said that process of recovering stolen assets was tedious and time consuming
He said: “but today I can confirm that thus far: significant amount of assets have been recovered.
“A considerable portion of these are at different stages of recovery.
“Full details of the status and categories of the assets will now be published by the Ministry of Information and updated periodically.
“When forfeiture formalities are completed these monies will be credited to the treasury and be openly and transparently used in funding developmental projects and the public will be informed.”
On the economic front, Buhari said that all oil dependent countries, Nigeria included, had been struggling since the drop in prices.
According to him, many oil rich states have had to take tough decisions similar to what Nigeria is doing.
He said that the world, Nigeria included had been dealing with the effects of three significant and simultaneous global shocks starting in 2014: A 70 per cent drop in oil prices.
Global growth slowdown.
Normalization of monetary policy by the United States federal reserve.
He said : “Our problems as a government are like that of a farmer who in a good season harvests ten bags of produce. The proceeds enable him to get by for rest of the year. However, this year he could only manage 3 bags from his farm. He must now think of other ways to make ends meet.”