The Niger-Delta Avengers (NDA) announced two days ago that they will cease to attack the oil-producing region in Nigeria and proceed negotiations with the federal government. The decision comes under the condition that the government also will cease to “harass, intimidate, invade and arrest” suspected members of the group.
This news brings a bit of relief as the Avengers have been unleashing terror on the region for months causing foreign oil companies to leave the country and a drop in oil production and export.
Now that a ceasefire has been achieved, here are 4 things we expect to happen over the next months:
- A significant rise in power supply in the country: Over the last 3 months, pipeline vandalism in the Niger Delta has been blamed for the poor electricity supply in the country. The Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola reiterated that the activities of the militants had negative effects on the power plants, hence the shortage in power generation. At the time when the vandals’ activities were heated, power generation dropped by 356.8megawatts. But thankfully, vandals have agreed to let their weapons rest for now and we expect that this will translate into an increase in power generation and supply, except if Mr Fashola and DISCOS have another excuse for Nigerians.
- Increased crude oil production output: Without a shadow of doubt, a ceasefire by the militants means activities will fully resume at the oil rigs and the production of crude oil. This sounds good for the country but in the long run, oil prices on the international market go down as productions increase. In basic terms, the more crude oil we have for export, the lower the price per barrel. Oil is the mainstay of the Nigerian economy and we largely depend on crude oil revenue, so lower prices is not bound to do us any good.
- Peace in Ikorodu, Arepo and neighbouring towns: Beyond the Niger Delta region, militants have terrorized some communities in Lagos and Ogun state forcing residents out of their homes and widespread panic across the towns. It took the intervention of the Nigerian Air Force carrying out aerial bombardments of militants’ camps before normalcy returned to the areas. This ceasefire is hope that residents of these communities can finally feel safe in their homes and go back to their normal lives knowing that militants have left them alone for good.
- Increased funds for President Buhari’s social intervention programme: As part of his campaign promises, President Muhammadu Buhari introduced a social intervention scheme to improve school enrollment and completion for children, increase local agricultural production and create jobs. All of this is in a bid to boost the economy and the programme is billed to be part-funded by the federal government. Now, having established that an increase in crude oil production does not amount to a rise in oil revenue, there will definitely be an flow of income into the national purse. Maybe some of these cash flow will go into the social intervention programme and poverty will be considerably alleviated in the country.