The House of Representatives of Nigeria has commenced move to get Niger State recognised by the Federal Government as one of the oil-producing states in the Country.
The Lawmakers during plenary session resolved to direct the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Limited to fast-track the completion of an ongoing geophysical survey in Bida Basin intended to ascertain the availability of hydro-carbon in commercial quantity.
The House arrived at the resolution on Wednesday, following a motion sponsored by the Deputy Chairman, Committee on Finance, and Member representing Bida/Gbako/Katcha Federal Constituency, Niger State, Hon. Saidu Musa Abdul.
Bida Basin comprises eight Local Government Areas in the Southern part of Niger State, which include Mokwa, Lavun, Gbako, Bida, Katcha, Agaie, Edati, and Lapai, and extends to two Local Government Areas in Kwara State and one in Kogi State.
Abdul in convincing his colleagues revealed that the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in 2020, during a visit to the Executive Governor of Niger State, His Excellency, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello announced that the “NNPC had awarded the contract for the commencement of the oil exploration activities in the Bida Basin and that the exploration could add 40 billion barrels to Nigeria’s oil reserves by 2023 if completed”.
He also stated that “if the volume of oil present in the Bida Basin is established and exploration activities commence in full force, Nigeria may, in the near future, overtake Libya as the country with the continent’s largest oil reserve”.
Abdul recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had once directed the Management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Ltd to fast-track oil exploration across the Country following the discovery of hydrocarbons by Shell in the Chad Basin and Kolmani River.
He was worried that While the NNPC heeded the directive of Mr. President for the Chad Basin, the people of Niger State are not happy with the slow pace of the exploration in the Bida Basin.
The Lawmakers supported the motion overwhelmingly.