Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto state has briefed President Muhammadu Buhari on the peace mission by five Northern governors to South-east and South-south regions, and the efforts toward oil exploration in Sokoto Basin.
The mission, embarked upon by Governors Kashim Shettima of Borno, Aminu Masari of Katsina, Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto, Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi and Simon Lalong of Plateau states, in September, was meant to douse tension and promote peace and dialogue among all sections of Nigeria.
Tambuwal, who spoke to State House correspondents after a closed door meeting with President Buhari, disclosed that the delegation met and interacted with their counterparts in Rivers, Abia and Imo States as well as northerners residing in the South East and South – South areas.
“I am sure you are aware that recently we were in the south east, as governors from the north went to interact with our brothers in the South East and South – South and particularly people of the North residing there so there was a need for a feedback.
“Also we have discussed with the President, if you remember very well recently, I was personally at the NNPC towers where we engaged the GMD (Group Managing Director) of the NNPC on possible oil exploration in the Sokoto basin.
“I have had cause to brief the president on that particular interaction, there is a need for the Federal government to continue to support that endeavour which I believe will help in more provision of oil and gas which we believe is very much in abundance in this basin but also in bringing about agricultural revolution in that area.
“If you have gas it will support the power supply which will in turn enhance and influence agro- allied industries that are likely to come on board and also have a positive impact economically on the lives and well- being of the people that are along the basin,’’ he said.
The governor said the first attempt to search for oil and gas in the Sokoto Basin was in 1957 before attention was shifted to the Niger Delta region.
He said: “It has always been there since 1957, when the first attempt was made but with the discovery of oil in the Delta, which we believe from the information we have is easier to exploit, there was a shift in focus to that of Niger Delta .
“We believe particularly the issue of gas, we need it for our local consumption, we have the conviction that what we have in that area is more than sufficient for an upward of 20 to 30 years of use by the people of the area.
“If explored, we don’t have to make pipelines from the Delta region up north to North West states of Sokoto, Zamfara and Katsina, if you do that you will ease the problem of evacuation and transportation or piping as it were of gas and Petroleum products. So it’s a way of providing cheaper services to the people.’’
Tambuwal described President Buhari’s response to his presentation as “very positive’’.