A coalition of militants in the Niger Delta who had previously vowed to attack Nigerian oil and gas pipelines if their demands were not met by October 1st, has agreed to rescind their threats on the fossil fuel infrastructure in the delta.
Abuja held several closed-door meetings with the coalition on Thursday, after which the group declared its loyalty to the Pan Niger Delta Forum, which is negotiating with the federal government to increase the proportion of oil revenues used to develop the oil-rich delta.
“Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), the Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators, which comprises over 250 groups with their leaders and representatives present at yesterday’s meeting, officially withdraw our quit notice issued to the Northerners and Yorubas living in Niger Delta region; call off planned resumption of attacks on oil and gas installations across the Niger Delta region and beyond from September 10, 2017; suspend the October 1, 2017 declaration of the Niger Delta Republic; declare support for the Pan Niger Delta Forum,” an official statement by the group said. “We have also resolved to work with PANDEF and give it our maximum support and we urge the federal government to continue a dialogue and implement the 16-point demand presented by PANDEF on behalf of the Niger Delta region.”
News of the rescinded threat comes as foreign companies start reinvesting in Nigeria after a year of high militant activity in the delta in 2016. Shell has begun pumping natural gas from the second phase of development at the Gbaran-Ubie Niger Delta project at the end of last month. The gas from the expanded project will go to both the local market and export markets and will be transported via a new pipeline connecting the central processing facility at Gbaran-Ubie to a non-associated gas plant.
By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.comtopics from