Nigeria’s petroleum Minister, Ibe Kachikwu, has said that the country’s crude production level has risen to about two million barrels per day.
That level of production, although a little below the 2017 budget target of 2.2 million barrels per day, represents a big jump from the worst days last year when production crumbled to 1.6 million barrels daily as militants bombed pipelines and ordered international oil companies to leave Nigeria.
Mr. Kachikwu, who was responding to legislators’ questions at a budget defence session, said the ongoing visits of the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo to the Niger Delta, is yielding fruits as there has been no blow up of any oil installation in the last two months.
Mr. Kachikwu said he was hopeful the county will stop the importation of fuel by 2019.
Mr. Osinbajo has been engaging with leaders of the oil producing communities in the Niger Delta to assuage their pains and prevent destruction of oil and gas installations.
Last year, the Niger Delta Avengers repeatedly blew up oil and gas installations and called on international oil companies such as SHELL and TOTAL to leave Nigeria.
The government first employed the stick approach with little success. In recent times, under pressure to meet its 2017 budget target, the government decided to change tactics by embracing dialogue.