How to protect oil, gas facilities from militant attacks, by stakeholders
Mixed reactions are trailing the cease-fire announcement by the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) in the Niger Delta region.
The new militant group, which had claimed responsibility for many attacks on oil installations in the region, took the decision following plea by monarchs and leaders of the region to stop further hostilities.
The monarchs and elders of the region, who made the plea during a stakeholders meeting on Warri, Delta State, said the call for ceasefire is to allow them negotiate with the Federal Government genuinely.
While some stakeholders, who spoke with The Guardian yesterday, applauded the move by the Niger Delta militant group, others believed that it may be a game plan to include themselves on the Federal Government amnesty list.
Chairman of Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN), Bank Anthony Okoroafor, emphasized the need for the government to desist from paying Niger Delta militants on the Federal Government’s payroll, but rather ensure the development of sustainable institutions in the region.
He urged government to find a creative approach of empowerment of the Niger Delta host communities to have some form of single digit percentage control of the resources thus boosting the confidence and morale of the people as they become stakeholders and participate in the business.
According to him, increased sense of belonging will reduce costly conflicts. “We can start by creating an energy corridor in Niger Delta and setting up five modular refineries, convert flared gas to power the entire Niger Delta; create many sustainable employments, entrepreneurs and 24 hours power supply.
“By creating opportunities for many, businesses can thrive and the security of life and property can improve. This will take time, but the result will be sustainable and create a win-win formula for both the Niger Delta and the government. he President can change the course of history with bold moves in this direction and address the issues of Niger Delta once and for all. It is will require effective consistent communication to the entire people.”
Also, a Consultant Petroleum Geologist, Environmental and Energy Analyst, Kayode Adeoye, commended the Niger Delta Avenger for their readiness to dialogue with the Federal Government concerning militancy in the region.
Adeoye hoped that the dialogue between the Federal Government and the new militant group would see to the improvement of electricity supply and increase in Nigeria’s crude oil export.