Analysts state that the oil industry in Nigeria could be on the brink of attack. Nigeria is the largest producer of oil in the African continent. It has faced a number of attacks on its oil industry from rebel groups within the country.
Malte Liewerscheidt, senior analyst at Verisk Maplecroft said, “Militant groups are running out of patience, the government is unable to deliver on its promises, the president is a ‘lame duck’, and the umbrella group negotiating on behalf of the militants shows signs of disintegration. All of this suggests that the current period of ostensible tranquility in the oil-producing Niger Delta could be over soon as the country heads towards elections in 2019.”
In June 2017 a group called the New Delta Avenger, issued a statement to resume attacks on the oil industry from 30 June, 2017.
Major threats have also been made by a group known as the Niger Delta Avengers. Their goal is to get the south a bigger share of the nation’s energy revenue.
In the past, such attacks have cost billions in lost revenue and have sidelined more than a 100,000 barrels of output. The Niger Delta Avengers are said to be cooperating with a group of Niger Delta leaders that are engaged in talks with the federal government. However, other groups have lost patience with the wait.
A group called the Niger Delta Revolutionary Crusaders stated that it would resume attacks by the end of September 2017. Various other militant groups have made similar threats. The militants have accused Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s administration of neglecting oil producing areas in the Delta state.
According to Manji Cheto, a political risk analyst at Teneo Intelligence, the odds of attacks resuming by year end are low. However, she believes the chances will rise up to 60% by February 2018, when campaigning for Nigeria’s 2019 presidential elections begins.