…Nigeria produced 2.1m barrels today, says Kachikwu
02 November 2016, Sweetcrude, Abuja – Militants operating in the Niger Delta have reportedly presented the Federal government with a 16-point demand, as a condition to end violence against oil and gas facilities in the region.
The government had set up a meeting on Tuesday with the militants and other representatives from the Niger Delta to resolve the issues, but representatives of militant organisations were conspicuously absent from the meeting.
The militants’ demands were presented by Chief Edwin Clark, a veteran leader who also spoke on behalf of some of the militant groups in the country’s restive southern swamplands, including the Niger Delta Avengers.
Clark made 16 demands to the Nigerian government, including revamping an amnesty programme for ex-militants, reducing the military presence in the region and cleaning up pollution.
The demands borrow heavily from the militant group, Niger Delta Avengers, who demand a greater share of oil revenue and also want the government to finish construction of a university.
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s oil production is nearly back to normal following a sharp drop earlier this year due to rebels attacking pipelines, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Emmanuel Kachikwu, said Tuesday.
“The reality is that as of today and this morning, we are at 2.1 million barrels production. That’s substantial,” Kachikwu said at the end of a meeting between the Federal Government and some elders from the Niger Delta, in Abuja.
Nigeria normally produces around 2.2 million barrels per day (b/d), but output dropped to a low of 1.4 b/d this year due to rebels attacks.
Addressing the press after a meeting between Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and representatives from the oil-producing Niger delta region, Kachikwu said “a lot of behind the scene engagements” were paying off.
“Part of the expectations by 2017 is to target zero shutdowns as a result of militancy,” Kachikwu said, describing the talks as “fairly good, fairly civilised dialogue.”
Without peace in the Niger delta, which produces the bulk of Nigeria’s oil, Buhari will struggle get the funds needed to kick-start the Nigerian economy out of its worst slowdown in years.
Then there is the issue of rival militant groups threatening any agreement.
On Sunday, the Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate group claimed an attack on a gas pipeline, saying it will “never support” the talks and declaring “this is not ending soon.”