NAIROBI, The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) says the the Federal Government’s peace initiative in the Niger Delta region has enabled Nigeria’s three oil refineries to raise their production,

Dr Maikanti Baru, the NNPC Group Managing Director told an interactive session with a delegation from Britain’s Royal College of Defence Studies on Tuesday that refining activities reached 10 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil in the first quarter of 2017 alone against eight million bpd and 24 million bpd for the whole of 2015 and 2016 respectively.

A media statement released the NNPC said Baru, who was represented at the event by the Chief Operating Officer for Gas and Power, Saidu Mohammed, said apart from the improvement in refining activities attributable to the peace initiative, which has lowered the rate of attacks on oil installations, the corporation had recorded an increase in crude oil production to two million bpd recently.

As a nation, we have tried all available options, including military, to tackle the security challenge (in Niger delta). We have discovered that guns are not as effective as the engagement option. The peace we are enjoying now is as a result of the engagement with stakeholders in the region, led by the Acting President. We intend to build on that to achieve lasting peace,” Baru said.

He added that with the respite, the NNPC would do all it could to build on the gains of the Federal Government to deepen and sustain the peace.

The team leader of the Royal College of Defence Studies delegation, Major-General Craig Lawrence, said the group was at the NNPC to learn how the corporation was generating wealth and prosperity for the country in the face of daunting challenges.

Members of the delegation included representatives from Britain, France, Pakistan and Thailand nationals, among others.