- The Chad Basin was recently liberated from Boko Haram and the NNPC says it is commencing oil exploration in the area
- The Nigerian agency also said its decision is based on the assurance of the military that the area is now fully liberated
Nigeria is to refocus its direction at the just liberated Chad Basin in search of crude oil deposits, just weeks after the area was liberated from Boko Haram.
A representative of the group managing director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, (NNPC), Maikanti Baru, as saying on Monday, May 15.
The report said Saidu Mohammed, the NNPC’s chief executive officer in charge of Gas and Power, revealed that light and heavy duty exploration equipment were already being deployed to the area.
He said oil exploration would commence in the area before the end of 2017 adding that the NNPC was encouraged to return to site by the assurances given to them by the military.
Speaking when he visited Borno governor, Kashim Shettima, in Maiduguri on behalf of Baru, Mohammed sympathised with the government and people of the state over the devastation caused by insurgents on the state.
“We are here in Borno to express our full alignment to the ongoing reconstruction, rehabilitation and resettlement process by government in all the liberated communities.
“Therefore, NNPC wants to appeal and seek where it can come in and assist, because, the rate of devastation is worrisome.
“We are also in the state to inform you that in the next six weeks, we are going to redeploy our team of experts back to Maiduguri to resume oil exploration with better technology in the Lake Chad Basin.
“This is necessary with our renewed efforts in harnessing, oil, gas and power to increase the economy of the nation, in line with the agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari in job creation and economic diversification,” he said.
In his reaction, Governor Shettima thanked the team promising that his administration would support the NNPC in its activities in the state.
He also pleaded for support to build schools destroyed by Boko Haram insurgents in the state.
Shettima said the insurgency had taken a huge toll on the northeast region leading to the loss of over $9.6 billion, with Borno state alone losing $5.6 billion.
“We need your support in our reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts, so that when the history of the new Borno is written, NNPC’s name will be written in gold,” he stated.
At the Shehu of Borno’s Palace, the NNPC chief sought the fatherly support of the traditional ruler especially in the area of host community understanding towards the resumption of oil exploration activities within the State.
The corporation also presented relief items to the Shehu for onward delivery to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the state.
He stressed that much as the International donor agencies and good-spirited organisations like the NNPC were keen on helping the IDPs, the state’s ultimate target was to resettle the IDPs in their various communities.
Also responding, the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Umar Garbai El-Kanemi, thanked the NNPC management for identifying with the Borno people, stressing that the corporation should do more for the betterment of Nigerians.
He expressed his happiness over the peace being enjoyed across the state now and the entire northeast, stressing that in the nearest future, “Borno people will survive the onslaught of the insurgency.”
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