Nigeria: military destroys refineries amid government’s promises to legalize the infrastructures
(Ecofin Agency) - 13 illegal refineries have been destroyed by the Nigerian military in the Niger Delta. This was announced on Thursday by military authorities.
Major Abubakar Abdullahi, a military spokesman, said troops “discovered and destroyed 13 illegal refineries” during a patrol in the Iyalama Adama axis of Rivers state. The announcement sends a message that contradicts a recent one by the government where it said that it will legalize the illegal infrastructures to boost economy in the region and improve the livelihoods of its people.
Moreover, Nigeria’s navy chief has said that in 2016, 181 illegal refineries were destroyed while $1.3 billion worth of crude oil and diesel was confiscated. Earlier this year, the military shut down close to 50 of the refineries.
The military operations to bring down bush refineries, it must be highlighted, occur in a context where the government is in talks with militants responsible for attacks on oil infrastructures in the region. Truly, these attacks, last year, cost Nigeria more than a third of its oil production. The country derives two-third of its revenues from oil, its main export.