Why Exploration of Oil in North is Delayed

2
262

By John Ofikhenua

By John Ofikhenua

The Director General of the Energy Commission of Nigeria, Prof Abubakar Sambo, yesterday stated that exploitation of oil in the North is yet to begin because of politics. According to him, Nigeria has refused to do enough investigation on the oil in the North because there is oil in the Niger Delta. He added that politics has stalled the exploitation of the petroleum reserve in Bauchi and Gombe states even when it is evident that they have oil. The Director General also noted that it is even more costly to develop oil in underwater than on the surface. Driving home his point, Sambo, who spoke with reporters at the second Summit on Energy and Sustainable Economic Growth in Abuja, stressed that except Nigeria, all other countries situated on the Lake Chad basin have began oil exploitation. He recalled that while he was a Vice Chancellor in Bauchi, he raised the point but people said he was playing politics. He said: “Are you aware that Niger has started exploiting oil? Are you aware that Cameroon and Chad are also taking their own. Which country is left in the Lake Chad that is not exploiting its own? It is Nigeria and what is stopping it? Before Niger started, it was Chad and Cameroon alone. “Now, Niger is actually taking from Damagaram . There is refinery in Niger from Damagaram. So what are we waiting for? Instead of transporting oil from the Niger Delta, we have it there. Now Niger last year started, the only country left is Nigeria. “Earlier on, some Nigerians thought it is politics, how can there be oil in the North. There cannot be oil in the North, so they refused to do the full investigation. But Niger started taking last year. Chad, Cameroon have taken, so why not Nigeria? Are we stupid? Why ? During his presentation titled: Energy Indicators for Sustainable Development, the Director General alleged that it is criminal for Nigeria to import fuel despite the numbers of refineries in the country. Sambo said the current reliance on one source of energy is dangerous, therefore Nigeria must attain energy mix to ensure energy security.  Said he: “For example, the issue of energy import, It is what government has started to be doing that you will make sure that the refineries in the country are virtually in full capacity so that we minimise the import of energy into the country. Also, another indicator is the expansion of energy mix to ensure expanded energy security level. And here, we are saying instead of the situation in the country that we are relying on gas and hydro for electricity we should expand to include solar energy, to include wind, cleaner coal in addition to nuclear power.” The Director General highlighted that the current pattern of energy supply and consumption are unsustainable because energy supplied is grossly inefficiently utilised. The International Technical Adviser of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Dr. Jason Hong said the organization is currently carrying out studies on the energy consumption in Nigeria in order to ascertain the energy that can be produced . Besides, he said the UNDP is also working on a project targeted at ensuring the adoption of renewable energy in Nigeria, stressing that the idea is to reduce energy use and demand in the country.

2 COMMENTS

Leave a Reply