By Ogbolu George
Dr Ibe Kachikwu, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, has said constant attacks by militants in the Niger-Delta region resulted in the country losing as much as $100bn in revenue last year.
Kachikwu made this known on Tuesday in his monthly broadcast posted on his Facebook page with the title: ‘Oil Sector Militancy Challenges: Roadmap To Closure’.
The minister, who said the nation’s oil production fell by as high as one million barrels per day last year, also said his ministry has come up with a 20-point agenda to end militancy challenges in the oil sector.
He said, ”At the highest point of this last year, we were producing 1.2 million barrels. Which means we were losing literally a million barrels of oil per day. At that time also, we were basically losing an average, if you look at 2016, of over $50bn to $100bn of unearned income as a result of this disruption.
”Jobs were out; pipelines were strewn all over the place; refineries couldn’t work to capacity, and we couldn’t meet our contractual international obligations. And the economy basically suffered.”
The minister said the region has suffered the problem of militancy before the coming of President Olusegun Obasanjo’s government.
He also said it would be difficult to put a stop to it, but his ministry is bullish about it.
Kachikwu noted that there had been a decline in oil prices by 60 percent over the last one and half years, which has caused a massive problem for President Mohammadu Buhari.
According to the minister, the 20-point agenda includes inter-agency collaboration, ring-fenced state approach, security hold hands, engagement town hall meetings.
Others are peace and investment on state basis, focused investments in gas-to-power, incentive for peace scheme, massive civil infrastructure revamp and Niger-Delta development fund initiative.