Due to the soaring rates of kidnapping, attacks on petroleum workers, and the vandalization of petroleum facilities, the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) have decided to shut down crude oil exports from river Sates.
The Association has insisted that until measures are taken and issues addressed, there will be no oil production from River state which is the number one oil producing state in the country.
This is however a big blow dealt to the Nigerian economy that is heavily dependent on oil. The country stands to lose billions of dollars once the strike begins on Monday, 8th of February and it may worsen the implementation of the 2009 budget.
Reports claim that the impending strike is also in response to the killing by a criminal gang of an 11-year-old girl last week and the abduction of her 9-year-old brother as they were going to school in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
As it is claimed by the Oil workers and corporations, there have been increasing cases of attacks on vessels in the waters off the Niger Delta, since the beginning of this year while criminal gangs masquerading as militants have continued to kidnap both Nigerians and expatriates, who are released in exchange for money.
Nigeria, which has already lost some of its crude oil exports to militancy in the Niger Delta region, currently exports 1.8 million barrels of crude oil per day. This is some 400,000 barrels below the projected 2.2 million barrels of crude that ought to have been exported, depicting a reduction in Nigeria’s revenue for the fiscal year.