DOUBLE JEOPARDY FOR THE ECONOMY AS MILITANTS BLOW UP PIPELINES AND OIL PRICE TUMBLE

Nigeria was confronted with the prospect of double jeopardy monday, when Anglo-Dutch oil multinational, Shell, confirmed that suspected militants believed to be from the Niger Delta attacked its Trans Ramos Pipeline (TRP) in Delta State on Saturday night.

This came as concerns mounted over oil prices, as United States crude tumbled monday below $40 per barrel for the first time since April, with both Brent and US crude prices falling by nearly four per cent.

The latest slump in oil prices followed heightened fears of an oil glut after a survey suggested that crude oil output from the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) reached record highs in July.

It was also certain to raise concerns among managers of the Nigerian economy who had predicated the 2016 budget on oil benchmark price of $38 per barrel.

Already, revenue for the first half of the year in Nigeria had come in at about half the government’s projections in the 2016 budget. The shortfall suggests that government’s plan to boost the economy through increased spending on infrastructure will struggle to take off this year.

Although no group has claimed responsibility for the attack on the Shell facility, which happened near Odimodi, a company spokesman, Mr. Precious Okolobo, yesterday said the pipeline had been shutdown for repairs since February when the Niger Delta Avengers bombed the 48-inch subsea Trans Forcados pipeline.

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