Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu on Monday disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari has authorized the opening of discussions with the Niger Delta militants.
Speaking in China on Monday, Kachikwu told Bloomberg that due to the dialogue with the militants, the country is bringing to experience good fortune in the area of oil production.
The Minister explained that Nigeria’s daily oil production which surged back to 1.9 million barrels after dipping to about 1.4 million per day between May and June will reach a high of 2.2 million barrels per day by July after the Forcados terminal must have been repaired.
He said, “All the way from January right through to about April, we were producing an average of 1.9 to 2.2 million barrels, which is basically between the threshold of 2.2 that we budgeted for the year.”
“Obviously in May and June, we suffered a lot of militant attacks, which took us down to about 1.3(million). We’ve managed to begin to lead conversations with the militants, a lot of engagement is taking place on the authorisation of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“We’ve been able to get production up back to about 1.8/9 million barrels per day as of two days ago. We are continuing those conversations and by the time the Forcados line is repaired in July, we should be able to come back to our production ceiling for this year, of 2.2 million.
“Things are looking up, engagements are trending positively, we’ve been able to make in-routes into those conversations, but what is more important is the need to continue that momentum and the need to look to a long term solution to the Niger Delta crisis.”