The Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Maikanti Baru, has said the proposed oil exploration activities and biofuel projects in Benue State are expected to generate over one million direct and indirect jobs for the people of the State.
He made the disclosure on Wednesday during a courtesy call on Governor Samuel Ortom at the Benue Peoples’ House in Makurdi, the state capital
Baru stated that his visit was “to formally kick-start the beginning of a high profile stakeholder engagement with a view to actualising the two critical projects which are expected to launch Benue into the league of oil producing States.”
According to him, “due to encouraging results of previous geological studies, basin modeling, aeromagnetic, ground gravity and surface geochemistry surveys, success of ongoing acquisition of seismic data in the Benue Trough will lead to the drilling of oil wells in the State.”
He noted that a contractor, Integrated Data Services Ltd, IDSL, would be going round to carry out a seismic acquisition campaign with heavy equipment where they would be laying long cables with geophones and sued for the protection of the equipment from vandals.
Baru, while appealing to Ortom to issue C of O for hectares of land earmarked for the biofuel project and the need for topographical survey of the project site, enumerated its benefits to include about 63,000 tons of animal feed per year, 64 MW of electricity and 84 million litres of ethanol fuel yearly among others.
Responding, governor Ortom said: “Benue people would be excited to have such projects come to fruition, stressing that the state and country stand to reap numerous economic benefits from the development.”
He appreciated President Muhammadu Buhari and the management of NNPC for finding Benue worthy of such projects, describing oil as key to the economy of the country.
Ortom announced the constitution of a high powered Government Committee headed by his Deputy, Engineer Benson Abounu with membership drawn from top government functionaries to ensure that the projects come to fruition.