Militant attacks on energy facilities in Nigeria’s southern Niger Delta threaten to cripple the country’s state oil company if allowed to go unchecked, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said.
“If the current situation remains unchecked, it could lead to the crippling of the corporation and the nation’s oil and gas sector, the mainstay of the Nigerian economy,” the NNPC said in a statement.
Crude oil sales account for 70 percent of government revenues in Nigeria and the country, which has Africa’s biggest economy, has slipped into recession for the first time in more than 20 years as a result of low crude prices.
“Insecurity is threatening production and damaging the Niger Delta environment. There is the urgent need for government and security agencies to refocus as well as engage the various host communities,” said the statement.
The attacks have meant that the government has struggled to fund its budget, which assumes oil production of 2.2 million bpd, hampering the implementation of plans aimed at boosting the flagging economy.