Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has
said government intervention, consultations and dialogues with
militants in 2015 forestalled shutdown of Nigeria.
In a podcast yesterday, Kachikwu recalled that at the height of the
oil militancy, Nigeria’s oil production dropped to about 800,000
barrels per day (bpd).
He said: “The president was kind enough to appoint me to hold the
twin positions of both the GMD of NNPC and the Minister of State
for Petroleum. Niger Delta was a burning issue at the time, there
was key unrest in the Niger Delta.
“A huge amount of militancy activities going on, there were
reductions in production volumes, a consistent loss that led to
almost crippling of the oil industry,” said Kachikwu.
“At the lowest point, we were down to 800,000 barrels. All the
infrastructure that we had were compromised. The integrity of the
infrastructure, vandalism and militancy compelled the integrity of
the infrastructure to disappear.
“This sustained attack continued to for over a 10-month period.
Forcados was breached in February 2016. In May 2016, the Nembe
Creek Trunkline was attacked. In November 2016, series and series
“The amount of problems we inherited in the Niger Delta meant
that literarily if nothing was done, the country was getting crippled.
No money for investments, no money for infrastructures or to run
The minister explained that when he assumed office, he realised
there was no coordinated effort to develop the region and that
potential investors shied away from putting their monies there.
“Everybody basically watched out for when the next alarm bell was
going to be. We moved in rapidly and dealt with three main
fundamentals,” he added.
According to him, the government took up the environmental and
security issues in the region, within which it engaged key
stakeholders and created the Pan Niger Delta Development Forum
(PANDEF) to amplify its efforts.
On efforts in the region, Kachikwu said: “Modular refineries
concept was initiated. 10 had been approved, two are on ground
constructing and could be ready in the next one year. Eight more
are ready for financing.