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Niger Delta crisis will cost Nigeria $2.5bn to fix –Report

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Niger Delta crisis will cost Nigeria $2.5bn to fix –Report

Nigeria will spend close to $2.5 billion to cleanse oil spills and repair damaged oil facilities resulting from activities of militants in the Niger Delta region, so says a report.

This is even as government is still battling with a means of sourcing about $1 billion, which it’ll cost to tackle the recently flagged off project for cleansing of oil spill in Ogoni land, caused by oil firms operating in the community.

This is according to a special investigative team, put together by oil majors in Nigeria, in conjunction with an international environment agency, UNEP, to assess the quantum of damage caused by the renewed crisis.

The interim report, submitted last week, was to be part of the issue to be discussed with the visiting United States Secretary of States, John Kerry.

It also stated that there will be no quick return to sites in the region by the oil companies.

In the past six months, different militant groups have taken the country by storm, causing collateral damage to major oil facilities belonging to NNPC, Shell, Chevron and others in demand for certain rights, which the government has failed to meet.

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Leading the campaign is the Niger Delta Avengers, which sustained its struggle despite declaration of ceasefire by government, leading to destruction of major oil and gas pipes in Escravos, and facilities in neighboring communities.

The worst hit were Chevron and Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), which were forced to declare force majeure twice on oil gas supplies to their major partners, including the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), following the damage on SPDC export facility on Bonny Island.

States mostly affected by the series of bombings, targeted at the facilities, include Delta and Bayelsa, while Rivers and Akwa Ibom suffered minimally.

Though government is yet to make any statement on this, as it is said to have different information on the matter, the oil firms are expected to push the report through the Ministry of Niger Delta.

But with the economic recession, which made it impossible for the government to fully execute its 2016 budget, experts fear that there may still be a longer wait for full exploration activities to resume in the affected areas, unless external help will be sought.

The Niger delta crisis and the north east Boko Haram insurgency topped the agenda of the meeting between Kerry and President Buhari.

By Emma Eke…

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