Group Want Urgent Exploration of Oil, Gas Basins In The North


0001311435-08-000008_SJ20F07NIGERIAEighteen delegates from across the northern states met over the weekend in Minna, the Niger state capital under a newly formed group, Association of Petroleum Inland Basins States of Northern Nigeria (APIBONN) with a view to fast track Federal Government’s commitment on the need to direct relevant agencies for exploration of oil and gas in northern basins.

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In his speech at the maiden meeting of the association over the weekend, the chairman, contact and Inter-governmental Sub-committee of the standing Committee on Bida Basin Development, Engineer Y. Y Sani said the formation of APIBONN as an inter-governmental pressure group that would aid in sensitizing state governments on Inland Basins with technical and business information capable of creating avenue for engaging Federal Government and private participation in the development of oil and gas in inland basins.

According to him: “The association is to work mainly as a pressure group but also with operating unit, the research and technical department. It is our believe that by coming together we stand a better chance of getting a federal government’s attention, who in any case is the sole owner of all mineral resources.

“It is heartwarming and encouraging that on Tuesday, November, 19th, 2013 the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria unanimously pass a bill for an act to provide for the establishment of National Frontier Basins Exploration Agency to execute, promote and oversee exploration activities in the Inland Sedimentary Basins in Nigeria.

“In Nigeria, apart from ultra-deep off-shore Niger Delta, the remaining greater percentage of frontier basins are the inland intracratonic sedimentary basins comprising of Anambra Basin, Benue Trough, Bida Basin, Chad Basin, Dahomey Basin and Sokoto Basin.”

He added that “apart from Dahomey Basin and Southern portion of Anambra Basin, the rest of these hinterland basins comprising of about 80 percent, lie in the north, saying these basins are located in Kwara and Kogi States (Northern Anambra and Southern Bida Basins), Niger (Central Bida and Southern Sokoto Basins), Benue, Nasarawa, Plateau and Taraba (Middle Benue Trough), Bauchi,  Gombe, Adamawa and Yobe (Upper Benue Trough and part of Chad Basin), Borno (Chad Basin) while Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara (Sokoto Basin).

At the meeting that was attended by delegates from Yobe, Plateau, Kogi, Zamfara, Sokoto, Niger, Jigawa and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) it was resolved that there should be an equity contribution by member states and that participants are expected to brief their principals on the need for the equity as well as individual states should continue to invest on exploration activities.

Delivering his address, the Niger State Governor, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, who was represented by his Commissioner of Mining and Mineral resource, Abubakar Baba Jibril, stressed that as projected by experts petroleum as a source of energy would amount to two third of world energy demand by 2030 said, this brings to the fore the need to open up the inland basin.

He said, it is on this premise that he constituted a team of expert with the view of undertaking a research into hydrocarbon prospect of the Bida Basin said, the initiative was conceptualized not because oil must be found in the north but it should rather  be seen  as a way of sharing the risk associated with oil and gas exploration.

Babatunde Akinsola
Babatunde Akinsola
Babatunde Akinsola is aNaija247news' Southwest editor. He's based in Lagos and writes on the Yoruba Nation political issues, news and investigative reports

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