The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has announced that the corporation will return to Lake Chad Basin in Borno state to continue the search for crude oil despite the security concerns in the North-Eastern region of Nigeria.
Dr. Maikanti Baru, the Group Managing Director of the NNPC made this announcement yesterday at the Kaduna International Trade Fair. He said that now that the staff of the NNPC that were abducted while exploring for oil had been returned, the NNPC will return to the Lake Chad Basin with full force to continue the exploration activities.
In June 2017, some lecturers of the University of Maiduguri were abducted and they did not regain their freedom until recently. The NNPC had to negotiate with the terrorists that kidnapped the lectures in order to secure their release.
Dr. Baru explained that the NNPC will continue to explore for oil in Benue, Nasarawa, Niger and Sokoto States. He explained that the reports that they got from these sites encouraged them and the NNPC were sure of success. He also added that the NNPC had been working tirelessly on the Lake Chad Basin and they were ready to return there.
“We thank president Muhammadu Buhari for rescuing some of our lecturers that were involved in exploration in the region. We are going back to the Chad Basin with full force. Although the oil and gas industry has been the main stay of the Nigerian economy, providing 95 per cent of the nation’s foreign exchange earnings, the major challenge in the country’s monoculture economy is that it exposes the nation to the vagaries of oil price volatility, which during a period of glut could spell doom for the country,” the NNPC GMD said.
“The feat achieved decades ago in mining, agriculture and commerce which even sustained the economy of each region of the country can be replicated if we re-channel the country’s productive sector. The NNPC was poised to provide the enabling environment for the nation to optimise its commercial, industrial and agricultural potential to attain a competitive edge in these sectors. “This is a commitment which we shall continue to abide by,” he said.
“To demonstrate our commitment, the NNPC has set up the Renewable Energy Division that is focused in not only developing solar and other renewable energy sources but also in the development of biofuels that are heavily dependent on agricultural produce as feedstock.”
The multiplier effect in such ventures are enormous: reviving and revitalising our agricultural sector, huge employment generation, significant contributions to power generation, high volume of animal feed, starch and by-products, in addition, bio fuels will be blended at our refineries for petroleum products, which will significantly reduce the import of petroleum products into the country,” he noted.
“NNPC had taken steps to ensure that the hiccups witnessed recently in the distribution of petroleum products are overcome. Some of the steps taken, include the full deployment and activation of a 24-hour real time fuel war room for the effective monitoring of fuel supply and distribution dynamics across the country; sustenance of 24 hours loading and sales operations in all depots and mega stations; and collaboration with and sharing information with the oil industry regulators and other agencies in the Ministry of Petroleum Resources,” Dr. Baru disclosed