Nigeria’s oil infrastructure in the Niger Delta region continued to take more devastating hits on Friday 8th July 2016, from a group of militants known as the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) in a bid to ground oil exploration activities in the country.
The group said on its website that “at about 3am to 5am the Niger Delta Avengers blew up Nembe 1, 2, 3 and Tebedaba brass trunk-line in Bayelsa/River States.”
The NDA who are on a mission to inflict economic pain on the country, are trying to accomplish what they term “red economy” and despite pleas from the government and other stakeholders to ceasefire, have intensified attacks on oil installations in the country, which has been responsible for arresting glut in the global market and a surge in oil prices.
The militant group after about a three-week break fuelling speculations that they were ready to call a truce with government, suddenly returned to bombing oil pipelines and other facilities owned by oil majors and government in the country on Friday last week.
The spate of recent attacks have been much more intense than before the minister of state for petroleum resources Mr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu announced the signing of about $80billion MoUs between Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Chinese businesses, to develop the petroleum infrastructure in Nigeria, in an effort to attract much needed Foreign Direct Investment into Nigeria.
Some of the Chinese companies that signed MoUs with NNPC include the China North Industries Corporation (NORINCO), Cinda Engineering and Construction (CINDA), China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec)/Addax Petroleum, the International Co-operation Centre of the National Development Reform and Commission of China (ICC-NDRC), amongst others.
The minister said the ICC-NDRC – which is in charge of implementing cooperation between the Chinese government and foreign governments and organizations – has committed to developing an overarching master plan for the Nigerian oil and gas sector that will include a detailed feasibility study of the current status of existing infrastructure in the industry.
“They will also develop bankable projects that would attract Chinese investors on this Government-to-Government platform,” Kachikwu said. “This initiative would move us to a much more profitable and efficient state.
After the announcement on Thursday last week, the NDA posted on its twitter handle that has since been blocked by the Social media owners that at 9:15pm on Friday that it blew up the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Crude Oil Trunk Line to Warri Refinery; at 11:26pm on Saturday, it said they were responsible for blowing up two NPDC major crude trunk lines close to Batan flowstation in Delta state. And at 1:15am on Sunday it yet again claimed responsibility for blasting two major Chevron Oil Wells. Well 7 and Well 8 close to Abiteye flow station in Delta state.
Following that, its spokesperson a Brig. Gen Mudoch Agbinibo again signed a statement on its website on Wednesday this week saying that “Between the hours of 10:50pm to 11:10pm (Tuesday) our (Niger Delta Avengers) strike team blew up Chevron Manifolds. The manifolds are RMP 22, 23 and 24, Happy Eid Mubarak to our Muslim Brothers.”
Besides oil, Nigeria is endowed with other mineral resources in huge deposits which are yet to be tapped into; it is also capable of food production in sustainable and exportable volumes.
However according to analysts numerous efforts to diversify from oil which is its mainstay is yet to translate to actionable plans from mere rhetoric.