Militancy: Barkindo advocates carrot and stick approach ‎

Militancy: Barkindo advocates carrot and stick approach ‎
June 21 20:34 2016

The incoming Secretary General of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Mohammed Barkindo, has suggested carrot and stick as the best approach needed to curb the renewed militancy in the Niger Delta.

A new group, the Niger Delta Avengers had recently launched itself to national prominence by blowing up pipelines and disrupting the peace in the region.

He said he was in support of  the Federal Government efforts to dialogue with the militants in the region especially as  it was beginning to yield positive results in the barrels of crude being pumped in a day. ‎

‎The Federal Government had said it was open to negotiations with the militant group so that they can stop the bombing of oil installations in the country.

The group had given the government some conditions upon which it will agree to meet on the dialogue table.

Speaking with State House correspondents after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, Barkindo  said: “For me based on my experience here, the option of carrot and stick ‎as they call it I think is the way forward.

“Government I understand is negotiating, discussing and we are beginning to see positive results. So I don’t think it will be proper to preempt this discussions that are being handled by Dr. Kachukwu. But I remain confident that through this negotiations, stable and permanent solutions will be found to this problem ‎because the Niger Delta region is a very important part of our country and whatever we can do to address the challenges of development I think is the way forward.

“I have been told that production is beginning to rise again, so for us in OPEC this is the first thing we look at, how much is a member country producing. When we saw that production was falling in Nigeria as a result of recent challenges, the international community, the market also took note of that. But now I think things are beginning to come back to normalcy and I have seen some of your reports that are also very positive. So your support is also very important because the oil market is fed by information not by crude oil‎”, he said in response to how Nigeria can solve the Niger Delta crisis‎

On the crisis in the oil sector across member countries , he said to overcome the challenges at the organisational level, ministers and government as well as governors and national representatives, will need to be united.

According to him, ‎Nigeria must sustain with the reforms already embarked upon in the oil and gas and power sector.

“The bane in the past has been lack of continuity of policies and programmes. Energy reforms the world over normally take some time to reach their targets” he said.

He used the opportunity to thank President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu for their support for his ambition

Seven countries including ‎Nigeria competed and out of the seven, four of them are actually founding members of OPEC.

Barkindo is the third Nigerian to be elected the Secretary General of OPEC after late Micheal Fadele and late Rilwanu Lukman

His appointment was made known at the end of OPEC’s 169th Ordinary Meeting, which took place in Vienna early in June.

He will replace Libyan Abdalla El-Badri, who has held the position since 2007. El-Badri was due to give way to a successor in 2012, but the inability of the organisation to agree on a replacement led to the extension of his tenure.‎