ABUJA, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) -- The wanton vandalism of oil facilities by militant groups in Nigeria's Niger Delta region causes a loss of at least 80 billion U.S. dollars annually, Nigeria's oil minister Ibe Kachikwu said Friday.
More than 10,000 of such incidents were recorded at oilfields across the region every year, the official said.
Militants in the region had inflicted massive damage on the economy through the destruction of gas and crude oil pipelines.
Kachikwu told reporters after a meeting with stakeholders and community leaders in Yenagoa, capital of the oil-producing Bayelsa State, that the government was worried and was making effort to reverse the trend.
According to him, an estimated 30-billion-dollar revenue accrued to the region by way of derivation within the last decade but due to the activities of saboteurs, everything went down the drain and poverty continued to fester.
He urged residents of the region to embrace peaceful dialogue with the government.
Nigeria's Niger Delta region covers about 8 percent of the oil-rich country's landmass. Enditem