March Sees Another Drop in Nigeria’s Crude Oil Production, Reports OPEC

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) reports a further decrease in Nigeria’s daily crude oil production for March. According to OPEC’s data derived from direct communication, Nigeria’s average daily output fell to 1.2 million barrels, down from February’s 1.3 million barrels. This decline rings alarm bells as Nigeria heavily relies on oil revenues, and the shortfall in production directly impacts its fiscal stability. The nation’s target of achieving a daily production of 1.7 million barrels, including condensate, in 2024 seems increasingly challenging amidst persistent challenges like pipeline vandalism and theft.

Isaac Botti highlights the urgent need to diversify Nigeria’s income streams beyond oil. He points to the neglect of sectors like manufacturing and agriculture, which historically drove the country’s economy. Revitalizing these sectors could provide alternative sources of revenue, reducing Nigeria’s vulnerability to fluctuations in oil prices and production.

Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Heineken Lokpobiri, attributes the first-quarter production decline to issues with the Trans-Niger pipeline and maintenance activities by oil companies. Despite these setbacks, he expresses optimism about a rapid recovery. However, the situation underscores the imperative for Nigeria to address systemic challenges in its oil industry and pursue a more diversified and resilient economic strategy.