The Federal Government is not sure of when the militancy in the Niger Delta will come to an end, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has said.
Kachikwu disclosed this during an interview on Bloomberg TV ahead of the meeting of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries in Vienna, Austria, which was monitored by our correspondent on Wednesday morning in Abuja.
The minister stated that the Federal Government had made considerable progress in addressing the militancy in the region, but noted that he could not tell when the activities of militants in the Niger Delta would end.
Kachikwu said the issue in the region could be a potential challenge to the success of the government’s recently inaugurated ‘7-Big Wins’ policy direction for the oil and gas sector.
He noted that other potential challenges were fairly within the control of the government but not the Niger Delta matter.
He said, “I think the Niger Delta issue is a major problem because you simply can’t get a final handle on it until it is resolved and you will never know when it is resolved.”
On the country’s crude oil production, the minister said, “We have made a lot of progress on that, productions are up – 1.9 million barrel, 1.95mb from the lows of 1.4mb. Militancy attacks are less, an average of one every month as opposed to five to six every week when it first started early in the year.”