Niger Delta oil sabotage costing $80 billion

Nigerian Minister of State for Petroleum Resources Ibe Kachikwu has said that $80 billion is lost annually to vandalism and sabotage directed against oil and gas installations, with an average of about 10,000 incidents recorded each year, writes Barry Morgan.

The derivation principle whereby oil export earnings are apportioned to the producing states should have led to about $30 billion in revenues for Niger Delta communities but much of this had been wasted or lost to illegal oil bunkering by organised crime syndicates.

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, speaking on behalf of Muhammadu Buhari, who is currently on medical leave in the UK, told stakeholders convened in Rivers State this week that the government would continue with an amnesty programme designed to retrain former militants and enhance job prospects in the oil zone.

Osinbajo said the administration was co-operating with the United Nations Environment Programme to initiate a clean-up of the Ogoni area and other polluted regions and that Shell Petroleum Development Company would fund the remedial work.

When contacted by Upstream, Shell declined to comment on the nature of the initiative or the possible extent of funding under discussion.

At the same gathering, Kachikwu dismissed rumours that international oil companies had concluded plans to exit the Niger Delta region.

“We want to see those oil companies that do business here, remain here,” Kachikwu said.