Have Niger-Delta Militants Been Appeased?
The federal government is in a celebration mood.
There have not been any attacks on oil facilities in the Niger Delta region in the past three months.
It appears the militants have been appeased.
This has led to significant improvement in crude oil production to up to 2 million barrels per day.
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu gave the new figure at the ongoing Oil Technology Conference 2017 holding in Houston, Texas, United States.
The consultations and ongoing discussions with Niger Delta stakeholders is indeed paying off.
The Director of Press in the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Mr. Idang Alibi, said in a statement issued in Abuja that Kachikwu noted that pursuing peace, security and stability in the Niger Delta was an integral aspect of the implementation of the ministry’s target for this year.
The minister had announced in October last year that the government was working hard to record no vandalism of oil pipelines in 2017.
"Efforts are on to substantially reduce youth restiveness in the Niger Delta" he said.
Kachikwu had explained that militancy in the region was severely impacting the country’s crude oil production and that Nigeria’s target of producing over 2.2 million barrels of oil per day would not be achieved if militancy persisted in the area.
The statement quoted the minister as saying that substantial progress had been made in the dialogue with community leaders in the region, adding that delegates from the area met with President Muhammadu Buhari last year and this was followed up by the visits of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to virtually all oil the producing states.
According to Dr. Kachikwu, the government further engaged with the host communities to ensure the security and protection of infrastructure, as well as with international oil companies to take more for securing assets in the region.