Apparently undeterred by President Muhammadu Buhari’s order to the military to crush them, militants under the aegis of the new group, the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), yesterday demanded some conditions that should be met by the Federal Government in order to ensure peace in the Niger Delta.
The group which claimed responsibility for the recent bombings of the Chevron valve facility, and the 48-inch trunk line supplying crude oil to Warri refinery has declared that it will “crumble the economy” unless its demands are met.
The militants demanded the immediate implementation of the report of the 2014 national conference or the country would break up. They insisted that the ownership of oil blocks must reflect 60 per cent for the oil-producing people and 40 per cent for others and that the nation’s only maritime university located in ‘‘the most appropriate and befitting place Okerenkoko must start the 2015/2016 academic session immediately.’’ They asked the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi to apologise to the Ijaw and the entire Niger Delta people for his ‘‘careless and reckless statement about the siting of the university.’’
According to them, the Ogoniland and indeed all oil-polluted areas in the Niger Delta must be cleaned up and compensation paid to all oil-producing communities.
Sympathising with the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), the NDA demanded that the leader of the group, Nnamdi Kanu, should be released unconditionally as a court has ruled. It said that the Niger Delta Amnesty programme must be well funded and allowed to continue to function effectively.
Faulting the Buhari’s anti-corruption campaign on the grounds that it is skewed in favour of his political associates, the militants said that all members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who are indicted in any corruption-related cases should be made to face trial like members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The group asked Buhari, the Department of State Services and Timipre Sylva to apologise to the people of the Niger Delta region and the family of the late former Governor of Bayelsa State, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha for killing him ‘‘with intimidation and harassment because of his party affiliation.’’
It warned oil multi-nationals and foreign investors to observe this ultimatum, as their business interest in the country must be the first target of attacks.
Meanwhile, Nigeria may lose over N100 billion between February and June to the vandalised Forcados pipeline that conveys Forcados grade of crude oil of over 400,000 barrels per day.
Besides, total export proceeds of $170.12 million was recorded in March, 2016 with proceeds from crude oil export sales amounting to $98.31 while gas sales amounted to $71.81 million for the month of March 2016.
The Guardian learnt yesterday that the repair of the damaged pipeline, which currently cost Nigeria about 250,000 barrels of crude oil per day due to the bombing of Forcados pipeline, may persist till June this year.
Though the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) targeted the repair to last for about eight weeks from the day of the attack, latest information shows that the repair may linger till June this year.
Already, the NNPC said in its February report that the situation had adversely impacted on the country’s February 2016 production leading to a loss of about N20 billion of Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) oil revenue.
Again in its recent monthly report for March released at the weekend, NNPC said that NPDC’s crude sales for the month of March of about ₦20 billion could not be realised due to crude pipeline vandalism.
NNPC said that the persistent pipeline vandalism poses the greatest threat to the industry. In addition, the revenue from crude oil and gas was impacted by shut-down and shut-in of production for maintenances at different periods and terminals during the month under review.
Also, Nigeria may lose additional $42 (N8.3 billion) to the damage of 35,000 barrels per day Valve Platform, an offshore oil facility belonging to Chevron Nigeria Limited located near Escravos, in Warri South-west.
The corporation has been able to reduce its monthly deficits by 36 per cent from N30 billion in 2015 to N3 billion in 2016.
Presenting the NNPC short term economic blueprint , the Group Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer, Upstream Investment, Bello Rabiu stated that the objective of the corporation was to develop a sustainable domestic gas market capable of generating more revenue than the oil sector and enable import substitution employment generation and gross domestic product growth through rapid development of power and gas-based industrial sectors of the Nigerian economy within the next three years.