Niger State government has further boosted the IBB University, Lapai, Niger State, with N500 million in this fiscal year to demarcate the hydro carbon (oil) field in the Bida Basin.
The vice chancellor of the university, Professor Ibrahim Adamu Kolo, who disclosed this in an interview yesterday, noted that the next stage was to conduct a preliminary drilling of oil wells in specific locations where the deposits were found.
According to him, the university would start in a couple of months immediately after it has been able to draw the money budgeted to it by the state government.
He said that, with the support of the Niger State government, the IBB university has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN) to drill the oil wells, which would enable the state to ascertain the commercial quantity of the oil deposit in the Bida Basin.
He said, "We are sure of the presence of oil in the basin, but what is not certain - and need to be verified - is the commercial level quantity; and that is the reason for the preliminary drillings from where samples will be taken for examination.
"Oil exploration is very capital intensive. What the Niger State government has done is to make provisions in this year budget to the tune of N500million that can be ploughed into the preliminary works that will enable us do what need to be done."
Consequently, he said, the institution, which has been in the forefront of the exploration of the hydro carbon deposit, would depend on the ECN to provide the platform for the preliminary drilling of the wells.
He explained that the project was one of the 10 institutional research proposals designed by the university for the academic year with the intervention of the Tertiary Education Trust (TET) Fund in two other agriculturally based researches.
He said that the university would not relent in its determination to encourage the lecturers of the institution to embark on researches that would be beneficial to the overall development of the state and the country in general.