Many reasons have been given for why Nigeria’s economy plunged into the recession in the second quarter of 2016.

Oil price decline was the major culprit.

But the Chairman of Shell Companies in Nigeria, Osagie Okunbor believes despite the fall in commodity prices, the final straw that broke the economy’s back was pipeline vandalism.

According to him, over 90% of the oil spillage in the Niger Delta region was due to sabotage of pipelines and other facilities in the oil and gas industry.

This led to drastic decline in the volume of crude oil output.

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He said it is the major causal factor that plunged the Nigerian economy into recession in 2016, adding that sabotage of facilities in the industry remains the biggest challenge confronting oil companies operating in the oil rich Niger Delta.

Okunbor, who doubles as the Chairman of the Oil Producers Trade Section of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, spoke at a panel session during the ongoing Nigeria International Petroleum Summit in Abuja.

He noted that Shell has spent huge funds on asset integrity, adding that the company will not hesitate to shut down any asset that is not safe for use.

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