Eighteen delegates from across the northern states met in Minna at the weekend under a new group, the Association of Petroleum Inland Basins States of Northern Nigeria (APIBONN) to fast-track the Federal Government’s commitment to mobilise relevant agencies to explore oil and gas in the north.
The chairman, contact and Inter-govern-mental sub-committee of the standing com-mittee on Bida Basin Development, Engineer Y. Y. Sani, said the formation of APIBONN as an inter-governmental pressure group would help sensitize state governments on inland basins with technical and business information capable of creating avenue for engaging the government and private participation in the development of oil and gas in inland basins.
He said: “The association is to work mainly as a pressure group but also with an operating unit, the research and technical department. It is our belief that by coming together we stand a better chance of getting the federal government’s attention, who in any case is the sole owner of all mineral resources”.
At the meeting attended by delegates from Yobe, Plateau, Kogi, Zamfara, Sokoto, Niger, Jigawa and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) it was resolved that there should be an equity contribution by member states and that participants are expected to brief their principals on the need for the equity and individual states should continue to invest in exploration activities.
Niger State governor, Dr. Mu’azu Baban-gida Aliyu, who was represented by the Commissioner for Mining and Mineral Resources, Abubakar Baba Jibril, said as projected by experts, petroleum as a source of energy would amount to two thirds of the world’s energy demand by 2030, necessitating the opening up of inland basins.