Niger govt seeks establishment of FBDC

Niger govt seeks establishment of FBDC

Niger govt seeks establishment of FBDC

By Abubakar Hassan

Niger state government has submitted a memorandum to the National Council on Hydrocarbons requesting for the establishment of Frontier Basin Development Commission (FBDC) as a pivot for speedy exploration of frontier basins and development of oil host communities.

According to the memorandum presented to the Council by the Permanent Secretary of Niger State Ministry of Solid Minerals, Alh. Abubakar Sadiq Idris, the Commission will assist greatly in efficient implementation of Petroleum Host Community Trust Fund and Frontier Basin Exploration Fund as captured by in the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), 2021.

The memorandum captured the Nigeria frontier basins to consist of Anambra Basin, the low, middle and upper Benue trough, the south eastern sector of the Chad basin, the Mid-Niger (Bida) basin and Sokoto basin, adding that the basins need to be better positioned for the opportunities in the hydrocarbons natural gas, oil and other minerals.

Giving more insight on the request of the state for the establishment of the commission at the Seventh meeting of the National Council on Hydrocarbons, held between 22-25 November in Minna, the Permanent Secretary said the establishment of the Frontier Basin Development Commission will offer great opportunities to actualize the state dream of oil and gas economic value chain and industrialization in Nigeria frontier basins.

He said the state was looking at the benefits to be derived from the establishment of the Commission, saying the most important thing that they were after is the funds to develope the frontier basins which will benefit the state and Nigerlites in general.

The Permanent Secretary added that just like it happened recently in Bauchi, they were urging the Council to encourage the President to do the same for Niger State and all other states that were under the frontier basins so as to stop the assumption of whether there is gas reserve or not and in what quantity.

"We should not be assuming whether we have it or not, and in what percentage. But what is really on ground now scientifically proven is that yes we have it and government can come to ensure that we develope the gas reserve and also benefit from derivation. It is about having the fund that will benefit Niger and Nigerlites," he explained.

He disclosed that the state was also supporting the AKK Gas Pipeline memorandum which contract the Federal government have awarded, saying it was meant to transport gas from Ajaokuta through to Abuja, Niger, Kaduna and Kano, as it is more easier to transport gas through pipeline than any other mode of transport.

The Permanent Secretary added that they were supporting it because if it passes through Niger state there should be a platform where industries in Niger, Abuja and even Kogi state will benefit from the expansion project.

On the issue of security of the pipelines, he observed that the scenario in the Niger Delta region where the pipelines were vandalized was because the natives were not carry along, adding that if they were carry along and benefiting from it they will ensure its protection and would not allow vandalization or illegal tapping.

He added that some of the mistakes made in the Niger Delta region must be avoided by carrying the communities along, as according to him crude oil will soon seize to exist and will not be use anymore and gas will take over.

"Very soon, even the crude oil will seize to exist, nobody will be using it anymore. What we will be using is gas. Gas for power, gas as cleaner energy and even the investment from the multi-nationals will not come to crude oil development anymore, it is going to be on gas because it is the new energy for the next 60 years to come. Even our vehicles will also be running on gas," he enthused.

The Permanent Secretary explained that the Council was the highest decision making body as regards to gas and hydrocarbons policies in the country and that whatever resolution reached is presented to the Federal Executive Council for assent and implementation.

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