Africa

Nigeria using power, persuasion to curb oil militant attacks

  • FILE- In this Friday June. 25, 2004 file photo, Ijaw millitants hold AK-47 rifles as they stand guard at Okorota, near Port Harcourt, Nigeria. Nigeria's government has resumed paying stipends to former militants, on the week of Thursday Aug. 4 2016, even as security forces mount air bombardments and ground assaults reported to have killed scores of fighters disrupting petroleum production in the oil-rich Niger Delta. (AP Photo/George Osodi file)

    FILE- In this Friday June. 25, 2004 file photo, Ijaw millitants hold AK-47 rifles as they stand guard at Okorota, near Port Harcourt, Nigeria. Nigeria's government has resumed paying stipends to former militants, on the week of Thursday Aug. 4 2016, even as security forces mount air bombardments and ground assaults reported to have killed scores of fighters disrupting petroleum production in the oil-rich Niger Delta. (AP Photo/George Osodi file)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE- In this Friday Feb. 24, 2006 file photo, Militants wearing black masks, military fatigues and carrying Kalashnikov assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenade launchers, patrol the creeks of the Niger Delta area of Nigeria. Nigeria's government has resumed paying stipends to former militants, on the week of Thursday Aug. 4, 2016, even as security forces mount air bombardments and ground assaults reported to have killed scores of fighters disrupting petroleum production in the oil-rich Niger Delta. (AP Photo/George Osodi file)

    FILE- In this Friday Feb. 24, 2006 file photo, Militants wearing black masks, military fatigues and carrying Kalashnikov assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenade launchers, patrol the creeks of the Niger Delta area of Nigeria. Nigeria's government has resumed paying stipends to former militants, on the week of Thursday Aug. 4, 2016, even as security forces mount air bombardments and ground assaults reported to have killed scores of fighters disrupting petroleum production in the oil-rich Niger Delta. (AP Photo/George Osodi file)  (The Associated Press)

Nigeria's government has resumed paying stipends to former militants even as security forces' air and ground assaults have reportedly killed scores of fighters disrupting petroleum production in the oil-rich Niger Delta.

President Muhammadu Buhari's government is using power and persuasion in a bid to halt attacks on oil installations that have cut production from 2.2 million to 1.2 million barrels a day. The attacks have slashed the budget of a government dependent on oil for 70 percent of its revenue.

The Nigerian Air Force says it has been bombing militant observation posts, anti-aircraft guns and boats laden with stolen oil.

Residents say scores of militants have been killed.

The government this week resumed paying ex-militants a monthly stipend of 65,000 naira (about $200) suspended in February amid allegations of corruption.