Following the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation NNPC, to resume oil exploration activities in some of the nation’s inland basins which include Chad and Benue Trough, the group managing director, NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Kacalla Baru, yesterday announced the siting of two biofuel projects in Benue state.
The GMD who made this known during a visit to governor Samuel Ortom to intimate him about the project said, the presidential mandate for the NNPC to explore hydrocarbons in these areas was driven by the urgent need for the nation to increase its oil and gas reserve to improve revenue and create most business and employment opportunities for Nigerians.
According to him, the project which is to be sited in Agasha, Guma local government, if established would create more than one million direct and indirect jobs for the teeming unemployed youths of both Chad and Benue Trough.
The GMD noted that his organisation has already commissioned Environmental Baseline studies to assess all aspects of the natural environment, to determine how best to carry out seismic acquisition operations without harm to the people, the ecosystem and the environment.
He explained that the NNPC through FES has already mobilised the Integrated Data Services Ltd ((IDSL), an upstream arm of the NNPC to acquire the seismic data in the Benue Trough commencing from Ondori (main camp) at the boundary between Benue and Nasarawa, adding, “the work will cut across Makurdi, Guma, Gwer East, Gwer West and Logo local government areas.
“The company handling the project will begin work soon and solicit the protection of the cables, and equipment by the people from theft and vandalism
Apart from generating more than one million jobs, other benefits will include, sugarcane feed stock plantation of 20,000 hectares, cane mills and raw/refined sugar plant that will produce 126000 tones per year, fuel ethanol processing plant of 84 million litres a year, 63000 tons of animal feed a year among others”
Responding governor of Benue state Samuel Ortom said the he was happy to receive the NNPC management noting that Benue stand to benefit a lot from the biogas projects.
He said the state government was ready to give maximum support to the project to ensure smooth construction and its eventual take off, adding that it will also close gap of the high unemployment level in the state.
The governor announced the constitution of a committee headed by the Deputy governor Engr. Benson Abounu to work with the leadership of the NNPC to ensure that the project is actualised.
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