The search for oil and gas in the Benue trough has begun in earnest with the arrival of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) exploration team to Benue State in North Central Nigeria.
The Corporation will as part of its early activities in the state, acquire seismic data that will guide the team in deciding the next stage of the exploratory work to carry out in the state.
Acting Governor of Benue State, Engr. Benson Abounu expressed the delight when he received the team saying that all was now set for commencement of the exploratory work in the state, having done a similar exercise on the Nasarawa State end of the trough.
The acting governor assured the team of full cooperation by the Benue citizens adding that the state government will also create a conducive atmosphere for them to operate without hindrance.
The security challenges in the state arising from herdsmen attacks notwithstanding, the state government will not allow anything to hinder the progress of the exploration work by your team, Abounu assured.
He announced the setting up of a committee headed by the Secretary to Benue State Government to work closely with the team, as well as with the security agencies to ensure a hitch free operation of the exploratory work.
On the Agasha-Guma sugar cane-fuel ethanol project expected to boost fuel sufficiency in the country, the acting Governor called for a quick resolution of the issue of core investors so that the project can take off in earnest.
He lamented the seeming delay in the commencement of the project, which when completed is expected to create over 1 million direct and indirect jobs as well as generate 64 MW electricity through the bagasse cogeneration power plant.
Group General Manager, Frontier Services and leader of the NNPC exploration team, Dr. Mazadu Bako, had sought the support of the state government, security agencies, traditional rulers and other stakeholders to enable his team acquire the needed seismic data that will hopefully announce Benue state as an oil producing state.
Dr. Bako disclosed that the team was about completing its data acquisition exercise in Nasarawa state end of the Benue trough and would begin the same exercise in Benue state as soon as necessary arrangements are in place to guarantee the safety of the field workers.
Source: Voice of Nigeria