Nigeria's Economic Woes
The Niger Delta Avengers in the early hours of today reportedly blew up two major oil wells located at Dibi in Warri South West local government area of Delta State according to media reports. The oil wells are Well RMP 23 and RMP 24 belonging to Chevron Nigeria Limited. They have forced the shutdown of several facilities, and are the main reason for the 40% or so plunge in oil and gas production rates. They have claimed to be seeking independence from Nigeria by trying to starve the central government of essential oil and gas revenues.
The resurgent conflict in Nigeria has a long history of interweaving corruption and poverty with regional/ethnic rivalries and tribal politics, but in reality its all about money and complete lack of alligience to Nigeria as a whole.
These guys are organised and investing heavily in machine guns, military equipment and general destruction of the already sub standard equipment and energy infrastructure in the country. Let us just imagine that these same people had spent whatever little money and energy they have building up their communities over the last twenty years.
Its been one militia group after the other in the Niger Delta over the last few years. Can these groups really be fighting for the good of their communities? What exactly has come off the amnesty deals implemented by the previous government? Has it made these communities better at all. Has the amnesty beneficiaries gone back and invested skills learned and benefits paid back into these communities? What about the state governments and local councils and oil companies. More importantly can you imagine these guys running there own country?.
Nigeria’s oil production is now below that of Angola. It has slipped to 1.4 million b/d, according to a recent report by Reuters Africa yet the destruction continues. The question of who exactly is behind this has to be asked. How are these guys raising finance and where do they get access to such sophisticated weapons.
Nigeria is already in a full blown economic crisis due to lower oil prices and the government’s Foreign exchange and Price Control policies. It is inconceivable that Oil prices have increased by more than 2% due to a growing number of disruptions to Nigerian production. In short every other oil producing economies benefits from this except Nigeria! The irony of it all seems lost on the country. Every other state seems to think its not their problem but that of the Federal government alone. Big Mistake!
Nigerian all have to work together to ensure the country gets back on track. The politician, technocrats, academics, corporate and general population have to get out of there comfort zones and fight back.
The country has seen an increase in attacks on oil facilities by the Niger Delta Avengers. The group reportedly wants locals in the Niger Delta to have more control over oil resources in the region and also wants the continuation of the Niger Delta amnesty program.
With the heavy presence of 100 gunboats, 4 warships and jet bombers of the Nigerian military present in the region, pipelines are still being blown up.
The Niger Deltans now have the full attention of the government. They should use this opportunity to there advantage and negotiate for jobs and infrastructure. They have to stop blowing up the only thing that brings in any form of revenue in the area. There might be nothing left to blow up and no deal to be made if this continues. Only more pain and misery for the country as a whole.
An Ijaw leader was quoted as saying
‘’A holistic approach is needed, the amnesty programme is just scratching the problem. The problem of molestation, deprivation, hunger and telling the people that they are not good enough to be educated. Stopping work at the maritime school is saying the same thing’’
The people that suffer the most are always the masses. The Niger Delta needs all hands on deck to develop. The country as a whole needs to come together and rectify this situation somehow. Destroying a country’s main revenue base results in slow decimation of its whole economy.
In Iraq and Libya the Militants do not blow up the oilfields.
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