By Promise Etim
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream), Obong Bassey Albert Akpan (OBA), has hinted that the Federal Government’s zeal to explore more frontier basins could lead to massive economic gains for Nigeria in the next decade.
He made the disclosure when he led members of the Committee to an oversight visit at the Frontier Oil Exploration Basin in Bauchi, Wednesday.
OBA noted that frontier exploration activities revolve around exploring hydrocarbons such as crude oil, natural gas, coal in areas with the prospect of formation and trapping of oil and gas.
The lawmaker posited that recent efforts made by the authorities could lead to an increase in the country’s petroleum reserve from the current 36 million barrels to a potential 40 million barrels by 2030.
“What has happened here in the past months shows a lot of promise. We must also move this to other areas. I can imagine the prospect of what we have across the country with what we have seen here in Bauchi.
“Being a host community is the right of every locality in Nigeria. If oil could be here, then there is a high probability that it could also be in almost all locations in the country. We must take it upon ourselves to explore”, he added.
Senator Akpan highlighted the Gongola Basin (North-East) as a veritable opportunity for industry stakeholders to complement activities in other basins such as Anambra, the lower, middle, upper Benue trough, Bida, Sokoto, and the south-eastern sector of the Chad Basin.
Enunciating the economic relevance of the oil and gas industry to the Nation’s economy, the Senator advocated for more investments in the sector, which he said accounts for about 90% of the country’s foreign exchange earnings in the past five decades.
He also identified the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) as a strategic tool that will help to attract desired investments and reposition the oil and gas market in Nigeria as a preferred destination for investors.