This Day (Lagos)

21 June 2005

Nigeria: N/Delta Crisis Blamed On Oil Firms

Asaba — Secretary to Delta State Government (SSG), Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, has said the recurrent hostilities between host communities and multinational oil companies was often as a result of breach of agreement singed with host communities.

He assured that the state government would find a solution in which the companies would be more friendly with the host communities, vice versa.

The SSG dropped the hints in Warri when he played host to the German Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr. Dietmar Kreusel.

On the kidnapped oil workers in Bayelsa State, Uduaghan told Kreusel that "you heard somthing today about a firm, we are already working on it although it is outside the shore of Delta State, but the same Niger Delta, we cannot leave it alone."

He advised oil companies that wherever they are moving around Nigeria Delta waterways, they should ensure that they do so with tight security.

"Before any movement, we advised that they should inform security agents that are here and they will give them some security. Although the crisis is down, we still have sea pirates locking around the palce and somtimes they can cause problem," he said.

Responding, the German Ambassador thanked the state goovernment for the reception given him and his team, adding that the he was in the state to get first-hand information on the situation in the Niger Delta.

"I will like to understand the whereabout of political decision making, economic decision making and to place national interest of Nigeria, state interest of Delta and the South in context with international interrest, with people and government abroad," Kreusel said.

According to him, the German government was trying to understand and help in fostering Nigeria's economy, its political stability as well as democratic proceedings.

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