President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday, in Strasbourg, France said he would not rest on his oars until the abducted Chibok girls were rescued and returned to their families.
He also said that despite obvious challenges, his administration was doing its best to protect the fundamental human rights of persons in the ongoing war against the insurgency in the northeast of the nation.
Addressing a special session of the EU parliament, Buhari said his government shared the European Union’s commitment to peace and security.
According to him, his administration also aligned with the UN’s respect for human rights, democracy and good governance, equality and tolerance, as ways of developing prosperous and strong societies.
He said the country’s armed forces had updated rules of engagement in fighting terrorism and always paid close attention during operations to the treatment of captured terrorists and civilians caught up in the conflict.
He noted that the ultimate aim of the security forces deployed to the region was to use minimum force necessary in the fight against terrorists.
On Nigeria’s efforts to curb crude oil theft and corruption, the president sought support from the EU.
“Nigeria is facing the challenges of oil-theft and illegal bunkering in the Niger Delta as well as recovery of illicit funds.
“Our attempt to restore security, curb corruption and fight crime will result not only improve social stability in Nigeria but will re-open the doors for full economic relations with Europe and the rest of the world.
“Those who wish to invest in our country have immense opportunities and we intend to guarantee the security of people and investments brought to Nigeria,” the president said.
On illegal migration to Europe, he said the Nigerian government was making concerted efforts to address the ‘push-factor that propel migration, especially from Nigeria, as both destination and transit country.’
“In this year’s budget, the government has provided for over 500,000 graduate employment in the teaching profession alone. We are equally collaborating with the states and local governments, to strengthen skills acquisition centres, in order to train the youths in various vocational skills, so that they can be self-employed, and become employers of labour.’’
He restated Nigeria’s move to diversify its economy in the face of dwindling revenue from oil.
“We are making efforts to diversify the economy, by giving impetus to agriculture and solid minerals exploitation to create wealth.’’