Taraba Gov Asks FG To Speed Up Oil Exploration In North-East

 

The Taraba State Governor, Darius Dickson Ishaku, has called on the Federal Government to speed up oil exploration in the north east region of the country in order to help enhance and diversify the country’s economy.

The Governor made the appeal on Tuesday, at the 5th meeting of the North East Governors’ Forum Held at the Government House in the state capital, Jalingo.

“I am delighted that oil has been discovered in the North East, notably in the Bauchi-Gombe axis and in Taraba State, but ours has both oil and gas. In the same line, I urge the federal government to expand and expedite exploration in the Chad basin, as well as the Benue trough, which, according to geological reports, is rich in oil and gas,” Governor Ishaku said.

“As a result of the 13 per cent derivation principle enjoyed by oil-producing States, we anticipate that early exploitation of petroleum resources in the North-East region will increase our revenue profile.

“Similarly, the North-East states are rich in solid mineral reserves that are yet to be exploited. Solid mineral has a stable price on the international market, unlike crude oil and can help enhance and diversify the country’s economy”.

While calling on the Federal Government to work with State Governments to develop their mineral resources, Governor Ishaku also recommended that the Forum push for the removal of the exploration and exploitation of mineral resources from the exclusive list to the concurrent list.

The meeting also touched on other matters such as insurgence, agriculture, road projects, among others.

Read the full details of the meeting below.

Keynote Address Of His Excellency, The Executive Governor Of Taraba State, Architect Darius Dickson Ishaku At The 5th Meeting Of North East Governors’ Forum Held At The Government House, Jalingo On 6th And 7th July, 2021

I warmly welcome my dear Governors of Borno, Adamawa, Gombe, Yobe, and Bauchi States to Taraba State, (Nature’s Gift to the nation). Given the importance of this gathering to the overall well-being of our region, and indeed the federation, your arrival has been eagerly awaited.

  1. Important as this meeting is, I will still invite your Excellencies to take advantage of the hospitality of our people and the congenial atmosphere while spending a few days in Jalingo, the State capital.
  2. Your Excellencies, it is encouraging that the North East Governors Forum has established itself as a powerful voice in the Nigerian political arena; however, we must continue to make conscious and deliberate efforts to keep our unique concerns at the forefront of national debate to achieve the desired recognition.
  3. Indeed, our affinity as a geopolitical zone precedes Nigeria’s merger, and subsequent post-independence political and administrative fragmentations have not affected who we are. As a result, this Forum should be in the vanguard of further reinforcing mutually beneficial social and economic integrations of our government and people.
  4. If we wish to bring national attention to our plights, we must be able to harmonize our thoughts and communicate in unison. In other words, an injury to one is an injury to all.

Thus, the Forum must speak out loudly as the voice of each State and all the states, because as it is now, certain important issues are left to the affected states to handle alone.

  1. On this premise, this Forum must be more proactive in ensuring that the multibillion-dollar Mambilla Hydro-Electric Power Project (MHEPP), with a capacity of 3050 megawatts, is fully operational, as it can generate half of the present national power output from all existing generation stations combined.
  2. There is, however, a pressing need to also construct an access road to the dam site which is located in Barup village, on the Mambilla Plateau, in Sardauna Local Government Area of the State.
  3. The economic benefits of the power project, Your Excellencies, cannot be overemphasized, considering its potential to create hundreds of thousands of skilled and unskilled jobs for Taraba State, the Northeast region, and the entire country. This is why, as the voice of the North East, our Forum must vigorously advocate for the commencement of this massive project as soon as possible.
  4. To this end, the North-East Governors’ forum needs to meet with the leadership of the National Assembly to press for budgetary provisions to be made in the supplementary appropriation as there is zero allocation in the 2021 Federal Budget.
  5. As you are all aware, distinguished members of this forum, one of the long-standing difficulties affecting our region is the long-running insurgency that has disrupted our way of life and become a barrier to our developmental efforts.
  6. I do, however, appreciate President Muhammadu Buhari’s renewed energy in confronting the Boko Haram threat, banditry, kidnapping for ransom, and other criminal activities head-on, and add that more is needed to be done to overcome these security challenges once and for all in the whole country.

12, Due to the persistent Boko Haram issue, we have lost a large section of our population. Many people have lost loved ones, and their livelihoods have been devastated. The threat will remain intractable as long as the insurgents’ sources of funding, supplies, and recruitment are not cut off.

  1. Permit me to however salute the Nigerian Military’s sacrifices, heroism, and professionalism, not just in the fight against insurgents but also in defending the country’s sovereignty and unity. I must acknowledge that the military, police, and other security organizations have played and continue to play an important role in maintaining peace and security in troubled areas of the State. We will not fail to provide them with the required assistance and cooperation in this difficult undertaking.
  2. The displacement of people from their ancestral homes has resulted in a serious refugee crisis, which is one of the consequences of the insurgency. Taraba has had to shoulder the burden of their plight, with thousands of them fleeing their villages and towns in search of a safe home in the State. The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and its Taraba State counterpart (SEMA), as well as local and international NGOs, have done a lot to alleviate their suffering, but the problem remains tremendous, and much more has to be done.
  3. Similarly, the herders-farmers conflict has resulted in a high number of internally displaced persons (IDPs), mainly in Taraba State. Given our favourable climate, the ongoing problem has had a severe influence on agricultural output, as evidenced by the country’s high food prices. Insurgency, crime, and the persistent herder-farmer conflicts, no doubt, have impacted negatively on the country’s youth unemployment and high crime rates.
  4. The North East region is one of the agriculture belts of the country. We need to figure out which crops grow in each of our states and where we have a comparative advantage over our competitors. In Taraba state, the government has promoted the cultivation of grains such as maize, guinea corn, and rice, as well as root crops like yam, cassava, and potato. We are also leading producers of beni seed, soya beans, avocado pear, citrus fruits among others. To increase the productivity of our farmers, this forum must key into Federal Government agriculture intervention programmes and also encourage farmers to form cooperatives to access low-interest loan facilities and other incentives.
  5. This brings to mind the Great Green Wall plan, which aims to slow the spread of the Sahara Desert. The initiative should stimulate the planting of economic trees that will provide food for people and also serve as fodder for animals. Desert encroachment, unfortunately, has forced many people to migrate from the Sahel region to other parts of the country, therefore, this African Union programme should be re-energized with the support of this meeting.
  6. On regional co-operation, the Chairman, board of directors of the North- East Regional Shuttle airlines, has been invited to make a presentation to the meeting on its progress, challenges facing the company, and the journey so far.
  7. Respected and admired colleagues, I am delighted that oil has been discovered in the North East, notably in the Bauchi-Gombe axis and in Taraba State, but ours has both oil and gas. In the same line, I urge the federal government to expand and expedite exploration in the Chad basin, as well as the Benue trough, which, according to geological reports, is rich in oil and gas.

As a result of the 13 per cent derivation principle enjoyed by oil-producing States, we anticipate that early exploitation of petroleum resources in the North-East region will increase our revenue profile.

  1. Similarly, the North-East states are rich in solid mineral reserves that are yet to be exploited. Solid mineral has a stable price on the international market, unlike crude oil and can help enhance and diversify the country’s economy.
  2. Our august visitors, in harnessing the oil and gas as well as solid minerals resources in our region for increased revenue, we must avoid the mistakes of environmental contamination in the Niger Delta and Lead poisoning in Zamfara State, by ensuring rigorous environmental impact assessment study, before mining activities commence.
  3. On this basis, I urge the Federal Government to work with State Governments to develop our mineral resources, which are on the exclusive list, even though the land use act vests land matters in the states, to increase income and revenue.
  4. In this regard, I wish to recommend to the forum to push for the removal of the exploration and exploitation of mineral resources from the exclusive list to the concurrent list.
  5. For instance, control over mining is delegated by the central government to regional authorities in South Africa, Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, Columbia, Chile, Canada, and Australia just to mention but a few. The South African Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, 2002 is a good example of how this could be resolved for the benefit of central and regional governments.
  6. Dear colleagues, the Federal Government’s Road for tax plan, which gives select corporations like Dangote and BUA groups relief on backlogs of unpaid taxes in exchange for road development, is praiseworthy. Though, some of us have no idea of the criteria used to choose which roads to construct. Therefore, we are calling the Dangote group to consider the construction of selected roads in Adamawa and Taraba States where it has huge investments.
  7. Similarly, the Taraba State Government had earlier made submission to the North-East Development Commission on the construction and rehabilitation of the following roads; Mararaba-Baissa-Abong, Lau-Karim Lamido, and Jalingo-Zing-Mayo Belwa to Ngurore. Therefore, I wish to request the Commission to commence work on the said roads.
  8. Finally, I respectfully request that this distinguished forum debate the topics on the agenda objectively and come up with constructive and helpful solutions to problems that impact not only our region but the entire country.
  9. Once again, I extend the most sincere greetings of the good people of Taraba State and wish you a memorable stay in our lovely State.

Thank you and God bless us all.

Total sells $2.5 billion Nigerian oil field to China’s Sinopec

Total is selling a 20 percent stake in a Nigerian offshore oil field to China’s Sinopec in a $2.5 billion deal which will help the French oil group fund its ambitious exploration plans.

Total said on Monday it had signed a deal to sell the stake in the OML 138 block, which currently produces 130,000 barrels per day of oil equivalent and contains the Usan field, which started production in February.

The French group said in September it planned to sell assets worth between $15 billion and $20 billion in the period up to 2014 as part of a bolder approach to managing its business, which has seen it buy and sell assets more frequently.

Total, which is also selling its French gas network business, is ramping up spending on exploration to take advantage of the historically high price of oil, which averaged $113.6 a barrel in the first half of 2012.

Total’s chief executive, Christophe de Margerie, said earlier this month the group did not intend to disengage from Nigeria altogether.

“It doesn’t mean we are scared and intend to start some kind of walking out of Nigeria … Total is happy to develop its projects in Nigeria,” he told reporters at an energy conference in Abu Dhabi.

Chinese companies have been among the most aggressive in targeting assets around the globe to help feed oil and raw material demand in the world’s second-biggest economy.

Sinopec, Asia’s largest refiner, has also snapped up energy assets in Britain and the United States recently to boost foreign earnings, as a slowdown in China hit profits.

Other shareholders in the OML 138 oil block, located 100 kilometres off the coast of Nigeria, are Exxon and Chevron, with 30 percent each, as well as Nexen , which owns 20 percent.

Total’s shares were up 2.5 percent by 1500 GMT, outperforming a 2.1 percent rise in the European oil and gas sector

Prospects of crude oil exploration in Northern Nigeria gladdens Sambo

Vice President Namadi Sambo on Friday expressed the appreciation of the Federal Government to the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in the positive progress they are making in the exploration of hydro carbon at the Chad Basin.

From left: The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Goni Sheikh; The Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Andrew Yakubu, and Vice President Namadi Sambo, at a meeting on Lake Chad Basin hydrocarbon exploration in Abuja on Friday

Speaking at a meeting convened with experts within the NNPC and other public sectors at the State House, Abuja, Mr Sambo said he was happy that surveys have indicated the presence of oil in the Chad Basin.

He noted that the budget provision is based on activity assessment and that the efforts so far expended and the achievements recorded so far will lead to the realization of the targeted goal.

He directed that a meeting with Chinese National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), a conglomerate that is presently working with the NNPC on the project, should be convened as a step to engaging willing and ready investors that will facilitate speedy and timely exploration in the second phase of the exercise.

The vice president further directed that the recommendation in the aero magnetic data survey needs to the harnessed including other works and services required so that a target time can be arrived at.

He noted on the need for deployment of funds, and the need to source for and engage other capable hands who are willing and ready investors.

Mr Sambo reaffirmed the Federal Government resolved to explore oil on the Lake Chad Basin contrary to the allusion in some quarters that government is not serious in doing so.

In his briefing the Group Managing of NNPC, Andy Yakubu, said despite the insinuations making the rounds that the corporation is not doing much on the exploration of the hydro carbon on the Lake Chad, NNPC was doing a lot to realize the objective of the Federal Government.

He said an integrated team of consortium of consultants set up by the Federal Government to study the possibility of exploring oil has identified 3350Sqm which was recommended for further investigation.

He added that on the submission of the report of the investigation NNPC commissioned its subsidiary and consultants to start the exploration. These consultants include the Chinese companies that worked in similar ventures on Niger and Chad Republics.

Mr Yakubu noted that due to the high technology employed for the exploration the area was divided into four phases and that work is currently on-going on the fifth phase.

He further added that three major sub-basins in the Lake Chad area namely Biu, Maiduguri and Barga had been identified and marked as low risk while work is currently going on in that area.

He pointed out that lack of security and adequate funding are the major challenges being faced in the speedy execution of the project.

If oil is found in the Chad basin, some northern states including Borno, Yobe, Bauchi, Gombe and by extension Adamawa States may be listed as crude oil producing state, a status that may improve the living condition of residents of these states.

Akwa Ibom: Exxon Mobil says begins oil spill clean-up

ExxonMobil’s said on Tuesday it was helping clean up an oil spill near its facility off the Nigeria’s southeast coast, although the company wasn’t yet sure what caused the leak.

Mobil Producing Nigeria, a joint venture between ExxonMobil and the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), confirmed last week oil had been sighted near Ibeno in Akwa Ibom state but the source was unknown.

Local fishing communities blame Mobil for the spill, which they say has cut off their livelihood.

“Mobil … confirms it is assisting with the clean-up in cooperation with local authorities,” company spokesman Nigel Cookey-Gam said.
“The source of the hydrocarbon remains unknown as fingerprinting of collected samples is ongoing … Mobil remains committed to ensuring that the health and environment of our neighbouring communities are protected.”

Oil spills are common in Africa’s top energy producer and stretches of the Niger Delta, a fragile wetlands environment, are coated in crude. Thousands of barrels are spilled every year and lax enforcement means there are few penalties.

Oil firms say the majority of spills are due to armed oil thieves hacking into or blowing up pipelines to steal crude, an activity they estimate saps nearly a fifth of Nigeria’s output.

Oil Exploration:FG Renews ExxonMobil license for 20 Years

All licenses for ExxonMobil to operate three big fields which produces about 5,000 barrels of crude a day has been issued to last 20years by the Federal Government of Nigeria.

The Minister of Petroleum commented after the issuance that the lease is a development for the hydro-carbon industry.