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Progress in Nigeria’s fight against Boko Haram will allow the country to continue exploration for oil in the Chad Basin – a formation recently freed from the grips of the terrorist group, according to Maikanti Baru, head of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
Full exploration of the light and heavy oil reserves in the basin will begin by the end of this year, Saidi Mohammed, NNPC CEO of gas and power, told reporters on Monday. Relevant equipment has already begun its journey to the site, escorted by the Nigerian military.
“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,” Mohammed said. “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.”
Borno Governor Kashim Shettima held a meeting with the NNPC leaders that visited the state, urging the state-run company to dedicate funds to the reconstruction of infrastructure destroyed by Boko Haram.
In December 2015, Buhari said the extremist group—which had pledged allegiance to ISIS—was “technically defeated” and driven out into a tiny northeastern corner of the country. However, the terrorist group is still launching attacks and was blamed for suicide blast at the end of 2016 that killed at least 30 people.
Last October, the Nigerian military launched Operation Forest Storm, which targeted both Boko Haram and the separatist Niger Delta Avengers. The NDA—who claim to fight for socioeconomic equality rather than religious causes—have eased their attacks since Lagos began talks with Niger Delta leaders to understand grievances in local communities.
By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com
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Zainab Calcuttawala is an American journalist based in Morocco. She completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Texas at Austin (Hook’em) and reports on…