John Agim, a Brigadier-General and Acting Director of Defence Information, says the country’s oil production has risen to an average of 2.5 million barrels per day (bpd).
He attributed this rise to the strategic approach of the joint military force deployed to the Niger Delta region.
Agim spoke at a news conference at the headquarters of the joint force christened ‘Operation Delta Safe’.
He noted that prior to the establishment of the outfit on June 24, 2016, oil production had dropped to 900,000 bpd.
He said that the joint force had pursued its mandate in line with the strategic directive of Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Orolunshakin, and made modest achievements in restoring peace to the hitherto restive region.
“Some of these achievements include enhanced safety of lives, rise in crude oil production, recovery of arms and ammunition, seizure and impoundment of stolen crude, destruction of illegal refineries and arrest of oil thieves.
“Others include successes achieved in prosecuting cases, profiling of suspects and persons of interest and conduct of in-theatre operations. The hitherto incessant attack on oil and gas infrastructure has abated.
“Attacks on gas pipelines further reduced the nation’s power generating capacity. As of when the force was activated on June 24, 2016, oil output had dropped from 2.2 million barrels to 900,000 barrels per day.
“It is gratifying to note that as at today, the production levels are averaging 2.5 million per day while NNPC management recently affirmed that pipeline vandalism had dropped significantly.”
He further said that the joint force had cleared the Niger delta region of identified militants camps whose activities threatened national security; he added that the threats had been effectively neutralised.
On recovery and mopping up of arms, Agim said from January 1, 2017 till date, the force recovered 1,389 different types of arms and 20,352 ammunitions from militants and other hostile elements.
He said that within the period, 24 vessels used by oil thieves were seized, while 191 barges, 234 outboard engines and 476 passenger boats were impounded by troops of ‘Operation Delta Safe’.
He applauded the support of the public towards achieving the feats, and urged them to furnish the military with actionable intelligence to nip the crime in the bud and make Niger Delta region safe for legitimate socio-economic activities.