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Stakeholders say fresh hostility in Niger Delta threat to investment, others

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Stakeholders in the oil and gas sector yesterday said implications of the resumption of hostility against oil facilities in the Niger Delta by militants may cripple implementation of the nation’s budget benchmarked at $60 per barrel and expected output of about 2.2 million barrels daily

The stakeholders also said economic losses, reduction in foreign direct investment, exchange rate crisis, environmental challenges, as well as security tension, which could affect the outcome of the forthcoming general elections, were imminent.

A group had on Sunday claimed it was behind an attack on an oil pipeline at Koluama community in the Southern Ijaw Local Council of the state. The explosion reportedly damaged the pipeline belonging to Conoil.

Team Lead (Policy and Research) Nextier, Security, Peace, and Development, Dr. Ndubuisi Nwokolo; Chief Executive Officer, International Energy Services (IES) Ltd, Dr. Diran Fawibe; PricewaterhouseCoopers’s Associate Director, Energy, Utilities & Resources, Habeeb Jaiyeola; Chief Executive Officer, Footprint to Africa, Osita Oparaugo and Managing Partner, Chancery Associates, Emeka Okwuosa, said Nigeria has every reason to worry should the progress in the economy be truncated by hostility.

Nwokolo said apart from the economic loses, which would affect the nation’s development plans and budgeting, the region’s fragile security situation would be rekindled.

Fawibe said the development remained unfortunate, stressing that the prevailing situation could bring the Nigerian economy to its knees.

He insisted that all hands must be on deck to co-operate with the government at all levels to continue the revamp of the economy for the benefit of all Nigerians.

Okwuosa noted that the period of peaceful normalcy in the Niger Delta region, where amnesty has been granted to the militants and most rehabilitated and gainfully employed and gradually reintegrated back into society has had positive effect on the nation’s oil supply.

Oparaugo, on his own, noted that the resumption of hostilities should be a source of concern to every well-meaning Nigerian, especially trade and investment experts.

According to him, government must seek an amicable way of addressing the situation or the CBN intervention for 2019 will be much higher and this will not be good for the economy.


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