Posted by News Express | 20 January 2016 | 2,959 times
Last weekend’s multiple attacks on strategic oil and gas installations by suspected Niger Delta militants are taking a heavy toll on the Nigerian economy. The attacks are now costing Nigeria $2.4 million daily, an Associated Press report quoted Power Minister Babatunde Fashola as disclosing
The attacks began Friday in the southern Niger Delta after a court issued an arrest warrant for former warlord Government Ekpemupolo alias Tompolo in connection with alleged $17.4 million fraud.
Explosions on a Nigerian Gas Company pipeline connected to the Escravos facility of Chevron Nigeria is costing the country $1.98 million daily in lost power and $400,000 in gas, AP quoted Fashola as saying, adding repairs would cost another $600,000.
Hundreds of people are fleeing the area and companies are evacuating workers for fear of a harsh military crackdown, community chieftain Elekute Macaulay told The Associated Press.
Tompolo has denied involvement in the theft and the attacks, centered around his hometown of Gbaramatu.
Residents said the military has launched a manhunt for Tompolo in the creeks and mangrove swamps and that militants are patrolling in home-made gunboats.
The losses further mounted as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) this afternoon announced the operational shutdown of the Port Harcourt and Kaduna refineries owing to crude supply challenges.
A statement by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the NNPC, Ohi Alegbe, said that the plants were shut simultaneously on Sunday after the Bonny-Okrika crude supply line to the Port Harcourt Refinery and the Escravos-Warri crude supply line to the Kaduna Refinery suffered breaches.
NNPC stated that before the closure, the Port Harcourt Refinery was recording a daily PMS yield of over 4.1 million litres while Kaduna Refinery was posting a daily petrol production of about 1.3 million litres.
The statement noted that the Warri Refining and Petrochemicals Company is still on stream and producing a little above 1.4 million Litres of petrol per day.
The Corporation however assured Nigerians that it had put in place strategies to guarantee unimpeded country-wide availability of petroleum products.
“In response to the unexpected setback, we have activated comprehensive remedial measures to sustain the prevailing stability in the supply and distribution of petroleum products across the country,” the NNPC said.
•Photo shows Niger Delta militants.
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