There was renewed optimism that Niger may join the league of oil producing state soon, says the State Commissioner for Mineral Resources, Hajiya Ramatu Yar’Adua.
Briefing journalists on the outcome of the weekly state executive meeting in Minna on Thursday, the commissioner said the seven wells drilled at the Bida Basin have confirmed existence of oil in commercial quantity.
According to Naija247news report the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in collaboration with the state-owned Ibrahim Badamasi Babaginda University Lapai have commenced oil exploration in both Bida and Sokoto basins.
Prof Nasir Maiturare, the institution’s Vice Chancellor told newsmen recently that researchers have submitted two reports on the activities to the Corporation while awaiting the third one which he said would be out soon.
Mrs Yar’Adua confirmed that there was significant progress showing existence of crude in commercial quantity especially at the Bida basin from the shallow wells established in the villages of Gulu, Bakani, Makera, Kudu, Enagi, Kutigi and Kontagora.
She said that the executive council has approved the payment of N145million out of N380million bill presented by a consultant oil firm that carried out the technical job that established workable data bank on the presence of oil in the basin.
She disclosed that two investors based in United Kingdom and Canada have expressed interest in doing the seismic data analysis to come out with blocs before handing over to the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR).
She expressed the hope that NNPC will refund the money expended by the state government in due course.