Pipeline vandalism and pockets of violence has been going on in the oil rich region and a group, the Niger Delta Avengers has claimed responsibility for the violence.
Nigeria’s crude production dropped in recent times from about 2.2 million barrels per day to around 1.4 million barrels due the vandalism.
Leadership reports that in a bid to find lasing solutions to the problem, the federal government will re-engage persons from communities in the region to protect the oil pipelines.
Garba Deen Muhammad who is the spokesperson of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation said the government was ready to work with stakeholders in the region to stop vandalism and ensure peace.
At a meeting with Niger Delta leaders and the federal government in Abuja on Thursday, May 26, there was talk on reaching an agreement that will bring satisfaction to both parties.
Present at the meeting were Ibe Kachikwu, minister of state for petroleum resources, Edo State governor, Adams Oshiomhole; national security adviser Maj. General Mohammed Babagana Monguno (rtd); minister for Niger Delta, Usani Uguru; minister of state for agriculture, Sen. Heneiken Lokpobiri; coordinator, Amnesty Programme, Brigadier General Paul Boroh (rtd), and stakeholders from the seven Niger Delta states of Edo, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Delta and Ondo states.
The government said communities were now saddled with the responsibility of ensuring peace and that “all the states in the region would nominate four or five representatives that would work hand-in-hand with security agencies to secure oil facilities in their respective states.”
Kachikwu also said the amnesty programme needed to be restructured to bring more benefits to the people.
“The Niger Delta governors must be involved in providing lasting solutions to the resurgence of pipeline vandalism and there is urgent need to create business opportunities for the locals in the region,” Kachikwu stated.
Meanwhile, the leaders of the Itsekiri ethnic group in Niger Delta area, Delta state, condemned the activities of the Niger Delta Avengers operating in the area.
The leaders accused the militants of fighting for heir selfish goals and not in the interest of the people.