By Willy Eya And Chinelo Obogo
President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, said he would shift his attention to the Niger Delta at the end of this month to decisively deal with the issue of oil theft in the country.
This is even as he, again, vowed to break the vicious circle of corruption, insecurity and downturn in the nation’s economy, which has led to massive unemployment in the nation.
President Buhari, who made the remarks in an interview on the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) last night decried the effect of oil theft to Nigeria’s economy and vowed that his administration would begin to tackle the menace at the end of July.
He explained that the shift in attention would be possible because the multi-national forces that would fight the Boko Haram insurgency would have been fully in place in the country by then.
The president said his administration would streamline the management of funds from the oil-sector and noted that he had already started the process by ensuring that all funds from the sector goes to the Federation Account.
Buhari said: “The amount of crude being stolen, the sabotage and the vandalism of our pipelines have cost the country a lot. If people know the cost of the crude we lose through the activities of theft and vandals, they would be amazed.
“So, we are going to sanitize that sector and ensure that we plug all the leakages. We are trying to get the technocrats in the private sector to help us so that we can also help ourselves.
“The cost of corruption is so high that we are trying to ensure that revenue from agencies like the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) go into the federation account and is not diverted.”
He also promised to expand the nation’s income by focusing on alternative sectors to oil.
President Buhari also lamented that Nigeria was yet to have steady power supply even after having spent about $20 billion to fix the nation’s power sector.
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