A community-based group, Niger Delta Peace and Development, has applauded the Joint Task Force (JTF) deployed to protect oil infrastructure for stability and addressing restiveness in the area.
James Julius, the Chairman of the group, said on Wednesday in Yenagoa that the enhanced security in the region was responsible for a rebound in oil production.
The community leader noted that the effective operations of the JTF known as `Operation Delta Safe’ led by Rear Admiral Suleman Apochi, checked renewed agitations that reduced oil output before 2016.
He noted that oil production data from Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) indicated a drop to 900,000 barrels daily before June 2016.
According to Julius, recent figures from NNPC website indicate that production currently stands above 2.2 million barrels per day.
He said that the joint force had pursued its mandate in line with the directive of the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olonishakin, and made noticeable achievements in restoring peace to the region.
“The present Commander of JTF, Rear-Admiral Suleman Apochi, has been achieving results and has proved to be a round peg in a round hole; his deployment at a time there was renewed restiveness was apt and strategic.
“For eight months, there has been no reported incident in the region,” he said.
He said that the Federal Government had shown commitment to repositioning the region as the oil and gas hub of the nation, noting that insecurity scared investors from the region in the past.
Julius said there was an urgent need to change the perception of international investors that fled the region as a result of militancy and sustain the interest of investors coming back in droves.