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North To Begin Oil Exploration Next Year As Buhari’s Allocation Of N39.4b For The Region In 2016 Budget Worries Nigerian

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The New Nigeria Development Company (NNDC), a business conglomerate of the 19 northern state governments, has disclosed plans to commence exploration of oil and gas in the Lake Chad area of North-East.

“Oil and gas blocks have been discovered in the North. But for security challenges in the North-East, exploration would have gone far,” the company said in a media briefing after its annual general meeting in Kaduna yesterday.

The Board of Directors’ Chairman, Alhaji Bashir Mohammed Dalhatu, who addressed journalists, expressed regrets that the insecurity in the North-East had affected the take off of the exploration.

“But we have since re-engaged our people to be totally committed to the oil exploration and exploitation of both oil and gas resources. We believe that will spring boot revival of economy in the region,” he said.

Asked when the exploration will commence, the NNDC’s board chairman said: “We are commencing the exploration within the year 2016. We are already talking with technical partners that would help us explore the resources.”

Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, Chief Sunny Onuesoke has faulted President Muhammadu Buhari’s allocation of N39.4 billion for oil exploration in the Northern part of Nigeria.

Reacting to the pronouncement of the allocation as enshrined in the 2016 budget, Onuesoke, while speaking to newsmen in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State said it was amazing that when the West and other parts of the world were embarking on renewable energy exploration, Nigeria was allocating funds for oil exploration in arid Northern part of the country.

“I wonder if Nigeria is thinking ahead or backward. I am saying this because when countries like America are selling their reserve and diversifying into other sources of energy generation, it is now Nigeria is exploring for more oil in the North. It should be noted that Nigeria cannot be an advocate of climate change and at the same time invest on oil exploration instead of renewable drive for sustainable energy like solar,” he argued.

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