Nigeria in talks with Niger Delta militants, President says

Nigeria’s government is talking to militants in the Niger River delta region to end an insurgency that’s ravaged oil production in Africa’s largest economy.

President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration is in contact with different groups through oil companies and law-enforcement agencies to “find a lasting solution to insecurity in the region,” Garba Shehu, a presidential spokesman, said in an e-mailed statement on Thursday.

The government is “studying the instruments of the amnesty programme inherited from the previous administration with a view to carrying out commitments made that were undelivered,” Shehu said.

Nigerian crude exports tumbled to a 27-year low in May of 1.4 million barrels a day after a series of attacks on pipelines and other facilities, helping buoy global prices.

A rainy day fund that’s topped up with oil money, and known as the Excess Crude Account, stood at $3.9 billion on June 20, according to a briefing by Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun to other ministers, the office of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said in a separate e-mailed statement. The ECA held $2.3 billion in April.