Dow Jones report: Nigeria will do better to buy oil peace

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The Nigerian government is deliberating on what it must do about the Niger Delta crisis and the Nigerian economy as Dow Jones news wire, recently estimated the country’s revenue loss to be about $20.7 billion as a result of the attacks on installations in the region which resulted in shut downs and spillages, along with oil theft.

While the huge sums of money in losses worry the Nigerian government, observers say that the militants would be most reluctant to give up their trade and as their resource-war is considered the most lucrative in the country. Prior to the escalation of the crisis, Nigeria produced between 2.5 million and 2.6 million barrels of oil per day. The current production fluctuation, between 1.6 and 2.2 million barrels a day, has forced the Nigerian government to seek a solid plan to put this trend to an end.

Dr. Mohammed Bakindo, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation group managing director observed that the slowdown in investment within the oil and gas production sector, insecurity in the oil- producing Niger Delta and OPEC quotas are some of the key challenges facing the industry. Nigeria is Africa’s most populous nation and the world’s eighth-largest crude oil exporter.

Human misery

The Dow Jones report, which was based on an average of 700,000 barrels a day lost during the months from January to September multiplied by each month’s average Nigerian crude prices, also added that there are unaccounted costs in human misery, with about 1,000 persons killed within the same period and another 300 taken as hostages.

The Niger Delta militants have been attacking and stealing crude oil since 2006 a practice that has resulted in the shut in of more than 500,000 barrels a day of production in the country. Based on the numbers disclosed, Observers also say that the cost of failure is too enormous to contemplate. And confirming the figures, experts on the Niger Delta crisis said If the country were to buy peace, it would be spending less than what it is losing in the crisis.

The Nigerian President, Mr. Umaru Yar ‘Adua recently proposed an amnesty for militants if they are willing to disarm, but the offer was turned down.

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