Nigeria to resume oil exploration in violence-hit north
16 May 2017 - 13:18
LAGOS, Nigeria: Nigeria will resume oil exploration in the Lake Chad basin area within six weeks following the wane of Boko Haram in the region, a top official of the state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation said on Monday.
“We are in the [Borno] state to inform you that in the next six weeks, we are going to redeploy our team of experts back to Maiduguri to resume oil exploration with better technology in the Lake Chad Basin,” Saidu Mohamed, chief executive officer in charge of gas and power, said during a visit to the state’s capital city, Maiduguri.
“This is necessary with our renewed efforts in harnessing oil, gas and power to increase the economy of the nation, in line with the agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari in job creation and economic diversification,” he added.
Experts had long confirmed large oil deposits in the Nigerian side of the expansive Lake Chad basin but exploratory efforts stalled following repeated Boko Haram attacks in the area.
Mohamed said the military has given assurances the coast is clear for continuous oil exploratory activities.
The Nigerian army insists Boko Haram has now been defeated and could no longer wage attacks beyond the surprise suicide bombings on soft targets. But a few analysts say the claim could be exaggerated as militants continue to launch attacks in the hinterlands of Borno.