Even though a Chinese company has struck crude oil in the Lake Chad side of Borno State nothing can be done now until the security situation improves
| By Ishaya Ibrahim | Dec. 17, 2012 @ 01:00 GMT
SOME time in December 2010, the people and government of Borno State, were dancing at the prospect of oil discovery in the Lake Chad Basin. Austin Oniwon, then group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, had visited the Chad Basin and assured the people that with the pace of work and modern technology deployed, if oil was at the Basin, it would be found. Two years down the line, oil has been found and nobody is excited because there is no activity going on in the Chad Basin.
Andrew Yakubu, the new group managing director of the NNPC, said the security situation in that part of the country has contributed significantly to the lack of progress in exploration. “We hope that as security improves, greater progress will be registered in the exploration activities”, he said. The NNPC has been on the project for a long time now. In September, vice president Namadi Sambo, said budgetary provision has already been made to facilitate the exploration in 2013. But the security situation is still tense in Borno and no one is sure when it will improve so that the the NNPC and the Chinese Company handling the project would resume oil exploration.
For now the major preoccupation of the government of Borno State, is how to end the terrorist activities of Boko Haram that have crippled the state’s economy. At its secretariat in Maiduguri, officials of the ministry of information could not say anything on the exploration. Even Isa Gusau, the special adviser to the governor on media, was not picking his calls and responding to the short message services sent to him.