Nigeria witnessed no pipeline vandalism arising from militant activities in the Niger Delta in the past three months, the Federal Government said on Wednesday.
It stated that the near zero rupturing of pipelines in the oil rich region was mainly due to the consultations and ongoing discussions with Niger Delta stakeholders.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, stated this at the ongoing Oil Technology Conference 2017 holding in Houston, Texas, United States.
The Director of Press in the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Mr. Idang Alibi, said in a statement issued in Abuja that Kachikwu noted that pursuing peace, security and stability in the Niger Delta was an integral aspect of the implementation of the ministry’s target for this year.
The minister had announced in October last year that the government was working hard to record no vandalism of oil pipelines in 2017, adding that efforts were on to substantially reduce youth restiveness in the Niger Delta.
Kachikwu had explained that militancy in the region was severely impacting the country’s crude oil production and that Nigeria’s target of producing over 2.2 million barrels of oil per day would not be achieved if militancy persisted in the area.
The statement quoted the minister as saying that substantial progress had been made in the dialogue with community leaders in the region, adding that delegates from the area met with President Muhammadu Buhari last year and this was followed up by the visits of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to virtually all oil the producing states.
According to Kachikwu, the government further engaged with the host communities to ensure the security and protection of infrastructure, as well as with international oil companies to take more for securing assets in the region.