Buhari flags off 1st oil drilling in Northern Nigeria
Story from Ahmad SAKA, Bauchi
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday performed the ground-breaking ceremony of the Kolmani Oil Prospecting Lease (OPL) 809 and 810 at the Kolmani field site located in Bauchi and Gombe states in the northern part of Nigeria.
The Kolmani Oil Prospecting Lease (OPL) 809 and 810 at the Kolmani field site is the first oil drilling in Northern Nigeria, following the discovery of oil in commercial volume in the region about two years ago.
It is expected that the first project would entail an oil refinery of up to 120,000 barrels per day, a gas processing plant of up to 500 million Standard Cubic per day, a Power Plant of up to 300 Megawatt capacity and a fertilizer plant of 2,500 tons per day.
Speaking at the flag-off ceremony, President Muhammad Buhari said the successful discovery of oil in the Kolmani Oil Field has broken the Jinks of oil discovery in upper Benue apart from the Niger Delta.
Buhari said he has directed the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Ltd to continue exploration in the North East region to fast-track investments for economic prosperity in the region and the country at large.
The Group Managing Director, NNPC, Mele Kyari, who thanked the President for his doggedness amidst economic turmoil for ensuring the success of the flagg-off of the oil rig said the region would open up a new vista of socio-economic development in the country.
The Governor of Bauchi State, Senator Bala Muhammad Abdulkadir and his Gombe State counterpart, Alhaji Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya, said the historic event will leave a landmark, stressing that there would be no conflict between the two states.
They pledged that an agreement has been going on for collaboration for more discovery and exploration of more oil and gas resources for economic development, investments and trade for the two states.
“History will remember you as the brain behind the successful search for oil in some Northern states which led to the discovery of the oil in commercial quantity in Bauchi, Gombe States.
“We are proud to associate ourselves with this key milestone achievement of the first official drilling of oil at the Kolmani River II Oil Field Project site in Alkaleri Local Government Area, Bauchi State.
“Your patriotism, selfless service and commitment to the Development of Nigeria is indelible and will remain forever,” Governor Bala said as he welcomed the President.
The people of Bauchi State, North East and other Nigerians welcome you to this historical event”.
Earlier President Buhari was conveyed in a chopper to the drilling site around 11:45 am where he landed at the Kolmani field in Barambu village in Alkaleri local government area of the state where he was welcomed by the North-east governors and eminent politicians of northern extraction.
The President was received by Governor Bala Mohammed Abdulkadir of Bauchi State, Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State, and Babagana Zulum of Borno State amongst others.
Already seated awaiting the President’s arrival not far from the Kolmani Oil Prospecting Lease (OPL) 809 and 810 at the Kolmani field site which will mark the first oil drilling in Northern Nigeria Bauchi and Gombe States were high-profile personalities from all walks of life.
Among them were the President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawal, the Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, almost all the Northern Governors, traditional rulers from across the North East, Ministers, Captains of Industries as well as well-meaning Nigerians.
A mammoth crowd of distinguished Nigerians witnessed the Historic Presidential flag-off ceremony of the Kolmani Integrated Development Project KIPRO of Oil Prospecting Licenses OPLS 809 and 810 at the Kolmani Field site that straddles Bauchi and Gombe states.