Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has warned that except President Muhammadu Buhari’s All Progressives Congress (APC) tackles the nagging problem of insecurity, it will never be able to address the economic challenges facing the country.
Wike is blaming the failure of Abuja to rein in those engaged in illegal oil bunkering and refining, on the complicity of its security agencies, maintaining that the bane of Nigeria’s seeming endless woes over the years has remained a lack of steadfast leadership committed to national development.
He stated this when the participants of the Strategic Management and Policy Studies Course 4/2021 of the Nigeria Army Resource Centre, Abuja led by Major General James. G.K. Myam paid him a courtesy call at the Government House, Port Harcourt.
According to Wike, his administration and other stakeholders have over the years complained about the devastating impact of illegal oil bunkering on the national economy and artisanal refining on the State’s environment, but the Federal Government deliberately refused to provide the necessary leadership required to end the menace.
“Go and see what we have done, is to show leadership. The Federal Government could not stop oil bunkering here because security men were involved. Police was involved, Civil Defence was involved, Army was involved, Navy was involved. So, nobody would be able to stand firm to end it.
“Look at the sabotage of the national economy of Nigeria through illegal oil bunkering. Look at the soot, Rivers people were dying, but we said no we will not allow this again and we took the bull by the horns.”
The governor explained that he had to personally visit some of the illegal oil refining sites to demonstrate that his administration will not condone the activities of those endangering the health of residents of the State and sabotaging the national economy.
Governor Wike said it is worrisome that people working in the oil industry are also part of the cartel involved in illegal oil bunkering and artisanal refining. He regretted that the Federal Government is reluctant to decisively deal with those destroying the national economy and environment.
“Leadership is key. There is nothing wrong with Nigeria other than leadership. The ability to take a decision, and implement that decision.”
He commended the participants of the Strategic Management and Policy Studies Course 4/2021 of the Nigeria Army Resource Centre for visiting the State but regretted that the recommendations that will be contained in their research work at the end of the programme will never be implemented by the government.
Leader of the delegation, Major General Myam said they were in Rivers to visit some strategic industries and study their strategies, management, policy and see how they impact on national security.
He said the theme for the local study tour is, “the Effect of A Distressing Economy On Small And Medium Enterprises Due To COVID-19 pandemic”, explaining that the Nigeria Army Resource Centre was established with the core mandate to produce well researched-based solutions to the defence and security challenges facing the country.
He said the course is an eleven months programme wherein the Nigeria Army Resource Centre in collaboration with the postgraduate school of the Nigerian Defence Academy bring together very senior and experienced members of the armed forces, police and other paramilitary organisations, intelligent agencies as well as senior officials of ministries and agencies.
“This selection is deliberate. It is to bring together these very experienced Nigerians to come and cross-fertilise ideas and blend their studies together so that at the end of the day they will review challenges confronting the nation and proffer solutions.”