Prominent Nigerians, including President Muhammadu Buhari, a retinue of governors from the northern region, ministers, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu and oil industry operators yesterday expressed optimism over the opportunities presented by the drilling of first oil in the north.
Nigeria is expected to tap one billion barrels of crude oil from the first reservoir of Kolmani oil fields around Gombe and Bauchi states.
Buhari charged Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (formerly Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation), New Nigeria Development Company (NNDC), and their strategic partners in the Kolmani Integrated Development Project (KIPRO) on the boundary of Bauchi and Gombe states to ensure that lessons learnt from years of experience as an oil-producing nation are utilised to ensure harmonious relationship with the local communities.
This was even as he added that despite zero appetite for fossil fuel, his administration has been able to attract an investment portfolio worth $3 billion in the sector.
Buhari made the call at the Presidential Flag-off of the Kolmani Integrated Development Project (KIPRO) on the boundary of Bauchi and Gombe states.
The KIPRO is an oil prospecting lease (OPL) 809 and 810 at the Kolmani field site located in the Gongola Basin of the Upper Benue Trough, the first oil drilling in Northern Nigeria.
He said he has obtained pledges from the Governors of Bauchi and Gombe States, who have given the assurances of their unwavering commitment and willingness to ensure support and cooperation in these localities regarding the local populations.
“I urge the NNPC Ltd, NNDC and their Strategic partners to ensure all lessons learnt from our years of experience as an oil-producing nation are utilised to ensure harmonious relationship with the local communities”, he said. The President described the occasion as important in the economic history of the nation as it moves closer to production of oil and gas in the Upper Benue Trough, specifically, the Kolmani River Oil and Gas Field, straddling Bauchi and Gombe States.
He further said: “This is indeed significant considering that, efforts to find commercial oil and gas outside the established Niger Delta Basin was attempted for many years without the desired outcomes.
“However, the successful discovery of the Kolmani Oil and Gas field by NNPC and its partners has finally broken the jinx record by the confirmation of a huge commercial deposits of hydrocarbons in Kolmani River field.
“This discovery had emanated from our charge to the NNPC to re-strategise and expands its oil and gas exploration footprints to the frontier basins of Anambra, Dahomey, Sokoto, Benue trough, Chad and Bida Basins. Similar activities across the other basins are currently actively on-going. – The Sun.