The Niger Government has approved the creation of a Department of Oil and Gas under the state Ministry of Mineral Resources.
Alhaji Mudi Mohammed, the state Commissioner for Mineral Resources, told newsmen in Minna on Thursday that the approval was given by Gov. Abubakar Bello at the weekly State Executive Council meeting.
He said since the state was prospecting for oil and gas in Bida and Zungeru Basin, there was need for the creation of a department that would oversees the production process in line with the Federal Government’s mandate.
Mohammed also said the department would be responsible for coordinating the exploration, development and deployment process to attract investors.
He further said that the department would liaise with the Federal Government on the exploration and development of the oil and gas sector in the state.
According to him, the Bida Basin had been blocked into 17 oil blocks, with Main Land Oil and Gas Company already applying for two blocks–Oil Prospecting License 501 (OPL) and OPL 517.
The commissioner added that a Chinese Company had visited the sites and taken samples to China for assessment.
He also said the state government in collaboration with Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation would soon visit the Kutigi and Gulu exploration sites. (NAN)