History is replete with great moments. This is one of such unforgettable moments. The occasion of the striking of oil in the Alkaleri local government area of Bauchi State by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, stands out as a great moment, not only for Bauchi State but for Nigeria as a whole. It is a monumental opportunity, not just for the present generation but for our children and grandchildren.
For anyone who has followed the unwavering effort of the NNPC in the search for hydrocarbons in this part of the country, this discovery marks the victory of hope over pessimism, the triumph of courage over fear and the victory of sacrifice over adversity.
On behalf of the government and the good people of Bauchi State, I wish to congratulate the Group Managing Director of the NNPC and his team, for the discovery.
In the euphoria of the moment, we must not forget to salute those patriots who initiated the project; the many technocrats who have spent countless hours, exerted their best efforts and sacrificed time and comfort to lead up to this level. Together, they placed the ball in the right position for President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, to score the goal.
Let me reiterate that the discovery of Hydrocarbon in Kolmani River Well 11, in the Alkaleri local government area of Bauchi State, is a giant stride in unlocking the well documented economic potentialities of our state.
To say we in Bauchi State are happy is an understatement. We consider ourselves extremely favoured by God for this divine discovery, which will make our state a net contributor to our nation’s crude oil output.
As our people jubilate and our administration contemplates the promise of this salutary hydrocarbon find, we are under no illusion at all, that this is still a long road from the economic recovery that we envision for our people. We must, therefore, constantly remind ourselves that, as history has shown and our experience as a nation demonstrated; oil is a great catalyst and instrument of development but alone, it can never move a nation forward. We will seize the moment; but we will never take our eyes off the ball. For now, we remain focused on our robust economic recovery plan which revolves around rapid rehabilitation of infrastructure, establishment of an investor friendly environment, vigorous promotion of agriculture and agro-allied industries through the public private partnership template, growing our IGR and sustained improvement in the supply of skilled manpower based on our vocational education project and partnerships.
We cannot over-emphasise the importance of remaining committed to our plans. And for our plans to stand the test of time, we must embrace the currents of time and global best practices. We must diversify; we must embrace the digital age in all ramifications. Thus, by the time it matures, the envisaged oil infrastructure can then sit well on a strong economic base. That is our dream.
I enjoin the good people of Bauchi State to see the happy development of the discovery of oil in our state as an opportunity to further demonstrate their undiluted belief in the Nigerian project; it is the design of the Almighty God that our hydrocarbon basin shall stretch both horizontally and perpendicularly, through the latitudes and longitudes of Nigeria; creating a unity that subsumes tribe and tongue, across space and time, as well as opportunities for generations of Nigerians to stand in brotherhood, despite our occasional differences. I therefore call on our people to exhibit that civility and nobility for which they are known and cooperate with both federal government officials and representatives of the NNPC and other organisations involved in this historical endeavour.
I want to assure the management of the NNPC that the government and people of Bauchi State will collaborate with the corporation and all agencies involved in this noble enterprise. We will spare no effort, turn every stone and break every ground until the oil flows through the wells and pipelines into our refineries!
I consider it a blessing and a privilege that this epochal development is taking place during my tenure as governor. I do not take it lightly in the least. It is axiomatic that, to whom much is given, much is also expected. Therefore, I give you my word today, that I will personally put all necessary supportive mechanisms in place, to fast track the process of exploration and drilling.
As we confidently look forward to the discovery of more and richer oil wells by NNPC’s ‘Ikenga’ Drilling Machine that will make the entire venture commercially viable, we thank God for this moment, in the history of Bauchi State.
– Mohammed is the executive governor of Bauchi State.