Data obtained from the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), has shown that Nigeria’s oil production declined to an average of 1,388 million barrels per day (mbpd) in the first quarter (Q1’17), Vanguard reports.

This shows an approximately one percent reduction from the 1,401mbpd recorded in Q4’16, which also placed Nigeria in eighth position out of the 13 country members of OPEC. While the decline in production in other OPEC countries within the period under review could be attributed to quota allocation by OPEC, Nigeria’s decline was mainly due to infrastructure vandalism, which made it impossible for the country to meet its OPEC quota of 2 million barrels per day.

In the last one year, the spate of bombings of oil facilities and shut ins in the Niger Delta had put the Nigerian economy in dire straits, plunging the country further down the road to a financial crisis. The situation becomes worrisome when viewed against the backdrop that crude oil exports account for about 70 per cent of Nigeria’s revenue and 90 per cent of Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings.