Niger writes Presidency over oil, gas deposits in Bida

Mu-azu-Babangida-AliyuThe Niger State government has formally informed the Presidency over the discovery of oil and gas deposits in commercial quantity in the Bida Basin of the state.

The message, conveyed to President Goodluck Jonathan was signed by the Niger State Governor, Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu, but details of the letter was not immediately known, even as the Presidency was said to have acknowledged its receipt.

Niger, almost two years ago, commissioned the Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University Lapai and some experts to study the Bida Basin, with the sole objective of determining if the hydrocarbon deposits in the area were in commercial quantity.

The committee had since turned in a favourable report, resulting in the state government engaging other states in the funding of exploitation of the deposits.

The Commissioner for Mining and Mineral Resources, Alhaji Abdulkhadir Baba Jibrin, who disclosed this in Minna, last week, said that the ministry also wrote to the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, intimating it of the discovery.

“We have sent a copy of the findings of our research to both the President and the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, the Ministry asked for acknowledgement from the Presidency and we have received the acknowledgement.”

Jibrin said that the research into oil deposits in Bida Basin of Niger State was different from that of the Chad Basin carried out by the federal government, adding that the research efforts could have been delayed because the state had no input in the exercise.

He did not say how much has been committed to the research but said that two companies for both upstream and downstream sectors of the exploration had been set up.

The commissioner disclosed that the state was endowed with abandoned but untapped mineral resources pointing out that the ministry had commenced a census of the deposits.

In Kontagora zone, he said the census had shown that there were large deposits of catalyte in Mariga local government area, while in Rijau local government area, it was also found, “valued deposits of gold were found.”

Jibrin said that the state would no longer depend on money from the Federation Account, if the mineral deposits were effectively tapped.

Information from The Guardian was used in this report.
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