The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Silva, said on Thursday the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) would soon resume oil exploration and drilling in the Lake Chad Basin.
Silva disclosed this to journalists at the end of a meeting on Chad Basin with the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai and other senior commanders of the force in Maiduguri, Borno State.
The meeting was attended by the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mele Kyari, and other top management staff of NNPC and the ministry.
Also in attendance were the Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj.-Gen. Farouk Yahaya, his Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) counterpart, Maj.-Gen. Yusuf Ibrahim and other top military officers.
Oil exploration in the Chad Basin was suspended on July 25, 2017, after a team of NNPC Frontier Exploration Services and their consultants from the University of Maiduguri were abducted by suspected Boko Haram fighters.
The minister said the decision to recommence exploration activities in the region was borne out of the successes so far recorded by the military in the fight against the Boko Haram insurgents.
He commended Buratai and the Nigerian Army for their resilience and gallantry in the quest to liberate the North-East from insurgents as well as making the entire country safe and secure.
Sylva said: “The reason why we are here is to first and foremost thank the Chief of Army Staff and the Nigerian Army for the great job they have continued to perform in the North East.
“We believe that without their gallant activities here we in Abuja will not also be leaving safely, neither will we be leaving safely anywhere in the world.
“Having thanked them, we also want to commence exploration and drilling activities here because we believe that there is relative peace in this area enough for us to continue drilling activities in the North East.
“As you may well know, we have found oil in Gombe and we believe that there is a lot of oil to be found in the Chad Basin. We have seen a lot of prospects in Chad Basin and we want to commence exploration and drilling activities.
“That is why we are collaborating with Nigeria Army to ensure that security is provided for activities to commence very soon.”
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