The Vice President of Nigeria, Alhaji Namadi Sambo has said $100 million has been budgeted for oil exploration in the Lake Chad Basin this year.
Sambo said during a visit to the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Aubakar Ibn Garbai, on Saturday in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state in northern Nigeria that the action of government was aimed at preparing the ground for the commencement of full commercial oil exploration in the basin.
“I want to inform you that government is committed to the oil and gas search in the Lake Chad basin. Last year about $75 million was spent on the project and this year President Goodluck Jonathan has approved US$100 million for the project,” he said.
Sambo added that three blocks had been identified in the area after a series of research for further action.
“So far, we have identified three blocks one of which is located in Maiduguri. These blocks have great potentials for oil and gas exploration,” he said.
Sambo said that government believed that commercial oil exploration would begin in the area at the beginning of 2014.
“Our plan is that by the fourth quarter of 2013, or first quarter of 2014, commercial oil and gas exploration will commence in the basin,” he said.
According to Sambo, government is also working towards rejuvenating the Lake Chad, to reactivate agricultural activities in the area.
“We are working on plans to rejuvenate the Lake Chad through an inter-basin water transfer from Congo Democratic Republic.
“President Goodluck Jonathan has approved the release of$5 million for the consultancy work on the project,” he said.
Earlier in his speech, Ibn Garbai appealed to the Federal Government to hasten oil exploration activities in the Lake Chad basin.
“I want to appeal to the government to pursue oil exploration in the Lake Chad basin with vigour because commercial oil exploration will provide jobs for our teeming unemployed youths.
“I believe the place contains large quantities of oil because of a similar discovery by our neighbors on the other side of the basin,” he said.
Source African Press Agency
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