Last week at a ceremony to hand over the reins of power to a new Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), former GMD and Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu stated that oil production dipped from 2.2million barrels per day early in the year due to a series of attacks on oil facilities in the Niger Delta to 1.9million per day.
The figure sparked some controversy among analysts and insiders who argued that the actual figure was actually less than what was presented by the minister, following series of attacks on oil facilities by militants’ penultimate week.
Barely a week after the minister gave his numbers, another senior government official; the secretary to the government of the federation (SGF) has come out to give another figure far less than what Kachikwu stated.
On Wednesday, SGF Babachir Lawal while appearing before the joint senate committees on ethics, appropriation and finance disclosed that there is a fall in oil production to 800,000bpd from the budgeted projection of 2.3mbpd.
Lawal blamed the drop in output levels to attacks on oil installations by the Niger Delta Avengers militant group.
“Lawmakers are aware that oil barrels had dwindled to about 800,000 per day. This has led to the inability of government to finance the budget. It is the duty of government to prepare the minds of Nigerians ahead that there will be challenges in implementing the budget,” Lawal said at the hearing.