Apparently in a bid to source for alternative revenue sources, following incessant bombings of fuel pipeline in Niger Delta by a notorious group christened Niger Delta Avengers, President Muhammadu Buhari, has demanded a full exploration of solid minerals in the country, in order to enhance revenue.
The President who made this known through the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, said the Federal Government is committed to tapping iron ore in the country.
Presently, Nigeria is the 12th largest iron ore resource country in the world, and second largest in Africa, Post Nigeria reported
Nigeria has about 2 billion metric tonnes of iron ore reserves.
“We must be extremely ambitious in our industrialization efforts”, Osinbajo said.
He added: “This is why the President has given clear instructions that we must make significant progress in the ease of doing business ranking this year.
“Diligent efforts are being undertaken to ensure this goal is achieved, including the setting up of an inter-ministerial committee, which has since commenced work with a very keen presidential oversight”.
Post-Nigeria gathered that the development is coming at a time the government’s anticipated revenue has further been constrained by the renewed attacks on oil facilities by Niger Delta militants.
In the Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State this week, there was an attack which claimed a section of the Tebidaba-Brass pipeline along Azuzuama- Ikienghenbiri creek, belonging to Nigerian Agip Oil Company, NAOC, an arm of the Italian oil giant ENI.
Production of crude among all the multinational oil companies in Nigeria has significantly dropped.
Amongst such is ENI, it said its production was cut by 4,200 barrels per day.
On May 18, an attack resulted to a shutdown of some 1,000 barrels, bringing a cumulative production loss to 5,200 barrels of the oil firm’s share of crude output.
Shell and Exxon Mobil had earlier halted production temporarily, following leaks and vandalism of oil pipelines.
Shell declared force majeure after continued attacks on its Nembe Creek Trunk Line, NCTL.
Shell noted that the force majeure was invoked following a leak at the Nembe creek, which may result into more unavoidable accidents. While Exxon Mobil also, declared temporarily force majeure on its Qua Iboe crude grade, because of obstructions along a bridge leading to its Forcados terminal, which has been resolved.
Recall, that for the past few months, Nigeria’s oil production levels have been severely attacked by the activity of militants with the resurgence of militancy, costing the nation as much as 800,000 barrels of crude oil per day.
The continual attacks had prompted President Buhari to order enhanced security in the region.
Despite the presence of security forces, the militants have continued to sabotage governments effort to sure up production in the region.
Buhari had during a session with the outgoing Iranian Ambassador said, Nigeria made its greatest mistake by relying solely on oil.
Nigeria as at today, relies on oil sales for 70 percent of its revenue, this income has been badly hit by the global fall in oil prices since mid 2014 and increased militancy. From 2.2 million barrels per day, Nigeria is presently producing 1.67 million barrels per day.
States government monthly allocation has fallen by N18.2 billion, with states and local governments, sharing N281.500 billion for April, against N299.747 billion shared for March.
The most threatened at the moment is the 2016 budget, which according to the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, might not be completely achievable if government’s revenue continues to slide.