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Oil and gas remain critical to our economy, says Buhari as he flags off oil search in Bauchi State

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has flagged off the oil exploration process in Kolamani River in Gongola Basin in Bauchi State, saying that oil and gas remain critical to Nigeria’s economy.

Buhari said the flag-off of the spud-in was in fulfilment of his promise to keep growing Nigeria’s economy.

According to Investopedia, “spudding is the process of beginning to drill a well in the oil and gas industry”.

The flag-off is coming 18 months after the federal government suspended oil exploration activities in the Lake Chad Basin following a Boko Haram attack on the team comprising staff members of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, as well as lecturers from the University of Maiduguri.

Several persons were killed in the attack, most of the soldiers and policemen that provided security for the team. Three of the lecturers were also kidnapped by the insurgents but were released months after.

Speaking at the flag-off ceremony on Saturday, Buhari paid tribute to the people that lost their lives in the Maiduguri attack while commending the security operatives that continued to risk their lives in order to ensure a smooth exploration process.

“I am delighted to be here this morning at this important event of the spud-in of the Kolmani River-II well in the Gongola basin of the Benue Trough,” Buhari said.

“Oil and Gas remain critical to the Nigerian economy of today and the future. It remains key to the successful implementation of our budget at all levels of government. The golden era of high oil prices may not be here now but oil and gas resources still remain the most immediate and practical keys to our aggressive efforts at diversifying the economy.

“As important as it is to ensure that other critical sectors of the economy are supported to grow and contribute more to the Nation’s economy, we still need a virile oil and gas industry to take care of the challenges of the moment and to invest for the future.”

President Buhari and the NNPC GMD, Maikanti Baru.

Buhari charged the NNPC “to aggressively intensify its exploration campaign in the Inland Basins with a view to discovering new hydrocarbon reserves that will boost oil and gas production and extend economic benefits to the people within those basins and the nation at large”.

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He also promised to expand oil exploration activities across all the nation’s frontiers namely: “the Chad Basin, Gongola Basin, Anambra Basin, Sokoto Basin, Dahomey Basin, Bida Basin and Benue Trough”.

Also present at the event were the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Maikanti Baru, and the Governors of Bauch and Gombe States, Mohammed Abubakar and Ibrahim Dankwambo respectively.

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