By; MOHAMMED KAWU, Bauchi.
As Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) resumes oil prospecting in the Benue Trough, Governor Mohammed Abubakar has expressed optimism that Bauchi will soon join the league of oil producing states in the federation, assuring that with the political will and sincerity of the Federal Government, the venture will become a reality.
The Governor while receiving the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Kachallah Baru who paid him courtesy call preparatory to the resumption of the oil search in the state, attributed the stoppage of the oil find in the Benue basin a decade ago to high powered politics which left the people languishing in abject poverty.
“It is baffling that in the Chad and Niger Republic parts of the Chad Basin commercial quantity of oil has been discovered and is being drilled, only for us on the Nigerian side of the basin to be told that there is no hydrocarbon. I believe strongly that with renewed commitment and serious political will discovery will soon be made that oil and gas abounds in Bauchi State”, he said.
Abubakar, who wholeheartedly welcome the Federal Government’s renewed commitment for oil prospecting in the Gongola basin of the Trough that includes Bauchi State, said “We are very confident that oil abounds in commercial quantity in this part of the country. We look forward to celebrating its discovery soon”.
The Governor thanked the President for given Bauchi State fair appointments which, he noted, were accorded purely based on merit, stressing “I cannot count the number of our sons elevated or appointed by Mr. President, this is purely on merit and I believe partly in appreciation of the support of the people of Bauchi State”.
He offered offices and accommodation to the NNPC staff that will be deployed to the state for the project, and urged the people in the communities where the oil prospecting exercise will take place to show understanding, especially as to the movement of heavy equipment in the areas and report any strange and suspicious person to constituted authorities for prompt action.
Abubakar also assured that in line with the APC policy and as he had done in other parts of the state where construction works are taken place, government will ensure full payment of compensation to the concerned people before any land is taken over for the oil prospect.
NNPC Group Managing Director (GMD), Dr. Maikanti Kachallah Baru explained that the resumption of search for oil and gas was informed by the directive of President Buhari to resume the exploration, especially since the black gold has been successfully discovered in commercial quantity in neighboring countries of Chad and Niger Republics.
The GMD Baru expressed confidence that with geological similarities with Chad and Niger, there is high hope that oil will be discovered in commercial quantity in the Nigerian part of the Chad and Gongola Basins.
Dr. Maikanti Kachallah Baru, while assuring of the NNPC commitment to embark on more rigorous exploration of the oil using the most modern technology, wondered why only three wells were drilled in the area that falls under Bauchi state to conclude that the oil was not found in commercial quantity.
Alkaleri, Ganjuwa, Darazo and Misau local government areas in Bauchi State fall under the area where the oil prospect will take place in the Gongola Basin which covers Bauchi and Gombe states.
By; MOHAMMED KAWU, Bauchi.