Benue next in oil, gas drilling – Buhari

Benue next in oil, gas drilling – Buhari
February 07 00:24 2019

By Nasir Kura

President Muhammadu Buhari said on Wednesday that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) would soon commence drilling for a deeper search for oil and gas in the Benue Trough.

This, he said, is the next step following the commencement of drilling in the Kolmani River area, located within Bauchi and Gombe states.

The president, who made the announcement while addressing traditional rulers at the Banquet Hall of Government House, Makurdi, Benue state, recalled that as Minister of Petroleum in the 70s, he had seen “very interesting seismic surveys” that promised oil and gas from the Chad Basin through the Benue Trough down to the Delta region.

He said for mostly commercial reasons, investment was directed to the Niger Delta given the promise of quicker results.

The president, who spoke on his past efforts as Head of State to diversify the country’s sources of oil to strengthen its unity, said the present administration would intensify efforts in this direction.

He also welcomed the observation by the Tor Tiv, His Royal Majesty James Ayatse, that peace had been restored to Benue state following the spike, sometimes back in farmers and herders’ clashes as well as the fact the President had so far conducted a decent and a peaceful campaign.

The president promised to look at requests for more roads, bridges and tertiary institutions made by the royal father.
In his remarks, the Tor Tiv expressed appreciation to president, “for the way and manner you have conducted peaceful campaign, no riots, no violence, setting good example. We had a challenging time in 2016. Thanks for your intervention, for accepting our appeal to step up security. Operation Whirl Strike has succeeded in chasing away violent herders.”

He also called for a closer look at the border to stop “criminals and bandits” from crossing into Nigeria.

Also speaking, Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state called for free and fair elections, saying all contestants must abide by the outcome.

He told the president that, “We believe you are a man of integrity and you keep your words. I will like to believe that you will not do anything to truncate our democracy.”