By Dipo Olowookere
Minister of State for Petroleum, Mr Ibe Kachikwu, has disclosed that Nigeria lost out on as much as $100 billion in revenue last year as attacks by militants in the oil-rich Niger Delta cut crude output to a record low.
Mr Kachikwu, in a video-clip on his Facebook page on Tuesday, also disclosed that production fell by 1 million barrels a day to 1.2 million a day at the peak of the attacks.
Last year, Nigeria suffered its first full-year recession since 1991 as a resurgence of armed conflict in the delta, combined with lower oil prices, blighted the economy.
While recent peace efforts have curbed the frequency of attacks on oil infrastructure, the West African nation has struggled to boost output as one of its largest export terminals remains closed.
“We continue to engage,” Mr Kachikwu said, referring to peace talks between the government and local leaders from the delta. “It is a difficult undertaking to try to embark on trying to resolve it once and for all, but we’re very bullish about this.”
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