The Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, has urged the Federal Government to approve and direct the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to immediately spearhead the exploration of oil in the Sokoto Basin.
He indicated that such a project would open up several activities for residents of the state, particularly youths that could benefit from employment opportunities, among others.
Speaking at the First Quarter 2021 Public Lecture Series at the Usmanu Danfodio University (UDU), Sokoto, chaired by his Kebbi State Governor, Abubakar Bagudu, Tambuwal clarified that he made the call on behalf of the governments of Kebbi, Sokoto, and Zamfara, where the Basin housed.
He reiterated that the three state governments had been working together and exploring different options to facilitate and collaborate with the national oil company on exploration activities in Sokoto Basin.
According to him, the three governments are ready and willing to collaborate with NNPC, especially on exploration activities on Sokoto Basin.
Pointing out that the initial unsuccessful attempt to seek oil deposits in what is otherwise known as the Iullemmeden, or Touareg Basin, which predates Oloibiri, was that of ELF expedition seventy years ago.
“Later in the 80s, during Shagari’s administration, I was told by late Sultan Dasuki of blessed memory, that the same ELF was invited here again. He, himself, undertook a trip to France under the then regime, and they came back. Again, the same story,” Tambuwal recalls.
He, however, urged the NNPC Group Managing Director, Mele Kyari, who delivered the lecture titled: ‘Navigating Energy Transition and the Imperatives of University-Industry Collaboration,’ at the event “to support that exploration here,” assuring that “we are willing and ready to collaborate with you in that regard. Whatever you want us to do as governments, for these states, we are ready to do that.”
Stating that the communities in the states are hospitable, the governor added that “we will give you all the enablers. Whatever you want us to do we will do for us to bring out what we have underneath for the common advantage or use of our country.”
Furthermore, Tambuwal emphasized that the states “are not…in competition with any region. We are not in competition with anybody. We do not claim ownership of these resources. What we are saying is that the resources are for the Federal Republic of Nigeria and they are here. We are only calling on all the federating units to come and let’s put our hands together, and ensure that we together for the benefit of the people.”