THERE is no end in sight yet to the resurgence of violence in the Niger Delta region. The new militant group, Niger Delta Avengers, undeterred by the Federal Government’s posturing to use force to restore order in the troubled oil rich region, carried out another attack on a gas pipeline to Escravos in Warri South-west local government Area of Delta State. This has led to disruption of gas supply to Egbin, Geregu and Omotosho power stations.
Earlier in the month, a valve platform, an offshore oil facility belonging to Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) located near Escravos in Warri Local Government Area had recorded a similar attack, causing epileptic power supply to both industrial and domestic consumers in the country. At present, the overall power generation is said to have dropped to 174, 7 MW from 3,147 MW.
There are heightened fears that the face-off between the militants and the Federal Government may worsen the already prostrate economy. Over the past few months since the militants began renewed agitation, there has been a drastic fall in the quantum of oil production, putting further strain on the economy. The Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe ikachukwu, on Monday, May 16, disclosed that the activities of the Niger Delta Avengers had cut down oil production by 800,000 barrel per day.
In the same vein, President Muhammadu Buhari at a recent meeting with Global Director of the Royal Dutch Shell Group, Mr. Andrew Brown, in Abuja, expressed concern over this development, saying We have to be very serious with the situation in the Niger Delta because it threatens the national economy.” He, therefore, urged aggrieved persons, militants and communities in the Niger Delta to drop their confrontation stance and work with those who had been charged by the Federal Government to review the amnesty programme initiated by the late President Umar Yar’Adua.