By Wole Mosadomi
Minna—Niger State government has informed the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government of large quantity of crude oil in the Bida Basin awaiting exploration.
In a statement by Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Jonathan Vatsa, the government said the immediate past state government, through a committee it set up, had confirmed the availability of large quantity of crude oil in the Bida Basin.
The statement read: “The search for crude oil will not be complete in the north until Bida Basin, which has a lot of potential, is included because there had been several intensification of crude oil search with re-invigorated exploration based on fresh strategy.”
The Commissioner said if the Bida Basin could be included in the renewed search for hydrocarbon deposits and it would be a giant step that can step up the economic potential not only for the state but for the country as a whole.
It would be recalled that the Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, hinted recently that government was stepping up measures in the search for crude oil in the Chad Basin and other parts of the inland sedimentary basin.
Niger State government had, in a bid to join the oil producing states in the country, re-awakened efforts to give full support to the proposal on the Bida Basin hydrocarbon research that was initiated by the state-owned Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai, in 2010.
In 2011, a 24-man committee, under the chairmanship of General M. I. Wushishi, called Gubernatorial Committee on the Development of Bida Basin, GCDBB, was inaugurated by the state government with the mandate to establish facts about the availability of oil and gas in Bida Basin and give recommendations.