Osinbajo Plans Fresh Talk With Niger Delta Stakeholders As Militants Burst More Oil Pipelines


By Sadiq Umar – Nigeria’s acting President, Yemi Osinbajo is set for another round of talk with stakeholders in the oil-rich Niger Delta to stem the renewed hostility in the area.

Spokesman for the Acting President, Laolu Akande said the parley is meant to shore up a fragile truce between militants and the government there.

The meeting is coming on the heels of renewed hostility by Niger Delta militants who blew up some oil pipelines.

The latest development has slowed down oil exploration activities and reduced production by about 150, 000 barrels.

Mr. Osinbajo had earlier held talks with leaders in the oil-producing states in the south-south that led to reduction in restiveness and increased oil production.

But the local leaders have said the efforts to secure peace are empty promises, and a return to violence in the area would derail any broader recovery in the crude-dependent economy.

“Next week there is going to be a follow-up meeting between the Acting President and the stakeholders of the Niger Delta,” said a spokesman for Mr. Osinbajo.

The government, including an inter-ministerial committee headed by the acting president, and Niger Delta stakeholders will also issue a report next week, he said.

Mr. Osinbajo was appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari to head the country while the leader remains in Britain on medical leave for an undisclosed ailment.

In the meeting next week, the government and representatives from the Delta will discuss key issues such as legalizing illicit refineries and turning them into so-called “modular refineries,” which the administration hopes to start from next month.

The contentious cleanup of the heavily polluted Ogoni region and plans to open a maritime university in October, which many community leaders have voiced support for, will also be discussed, said the spokesman.

Oil exports are now set to exceed 2 million barrels per day (bpd) in August, the highest in 17 months, from as little as just over 1 million bpd at certain points last year.

That is due to a steady decline in attacks on pipelines, providing a much-needed injection of cash into Nigerian government coffers.


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