The federal government will soon restart the search for crude oil in areas around the Lake Chad Basin that have been liberated from the Boko Haram terrorist group.
This was made known by the Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Maikanti Baru, on Monday, during a courtesy visit to the Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima.
Baru, who was represented by NNPC’s Chief Executive Officer, Gas and Power, Saidu Mohammed, told the governor that light and heavy duty equipment needed for the exploration exercise are being moved into the area in readiness for the commencement of full oil prospecting by the end of this year.
Saidu said the development follows assurances by the Nigerian military that the area was safe enough and work could begin again.
He added that the visit was also to commiserate with the government and people of Borno state “on the devastating attacks and destructions they had suffered due to the activities of the Boko Haram insurgents.”
“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,” the NNPC top executive said.
“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.”
Responding, Governor Shettima assured the NNPC team of his administration’s support to enable them succeed in their mission.
He also pointed out that the state government would be requiring assistance in reconstructing and rebuilding hundreds of schools and furniture destroyed by insurgents.
The NNPC team also paid a courtesy visit on the Shehu ruler of Borno, Abubakar Garbai El- Kanemi.