As Nigeria’s Niger Delta region continues in unrest, the West African country has launched a $10 billion infrastructure program to end the insurgency in the region, as well as growing the petroleum industry.
President Muhammadu Buhari is also set to meet representatives of militant groups and community leaders from the Niger Delta in the capital, Abuja next week. The aim of the meeting is to reach an agreement that will lead to the end of the attacks in the region.
Nigeria’s minister of petroleum Ibe Kachikwu said that ending the insurgency was top of a seven-point plan for the petroleum industry in Nigeria.
“Our target is to ensure zero militancy in the area,” Kachikwu said. “This planned meeting shows the level of interest the president has to ensure peace in the area.”
He also added that the money used to fund this project will not be sourced from the federal government but from “oil companies, investors, individuals.”
The Petroleum seven-point agenda also included the passing of a Petroleum Industry Bill by December. This bill will contain the details of the reconstruction of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
Also on Thursday, President Buhari stated that it would be impossible for Nigeria to move on without the oil industry, despite the calls for the Nigerian economy to be diversified.
“Oil and gas resources still remain the most immediate and practical keys out of our present economic crisis,” Buhari said, adding that the plan for the industry is “a national imperative and a core thrust of our economic policy.”
Nigeria will also hold a roadshow in the Gulf in January and in the United States by mid-2017, Kachikwu said. He added that outdated refineries will be improved and private refineries will be licensed in order to improve investments.