Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State has intensified efforts in the search for hydrocarbon deposits in the Bida basin to shore up the economic potentials of the state.
This was disclosed by Engr Yakubu Mohammed, the chief executive officer of Whitepage International Concept Limited, a consulting firm with the specialty in oil and gas development services, and environmental policy support and management to fast-track the project.
Governor Bello had set up a highly technical team to work with Whitepage to carry out a research on hydrocarbon occurrence in the Bida basin.
This particular research by the state government is an independent one conducted in collaboration with Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai, Niger state.
"The idea is at the end of the day both analysis and report from Whitepage and IBB University will be presented to the NNPC to confirm if the state has hydrocarbon deposits in commercial quantity to necessitate further action," he said.
He said to buttress government seriousness, the governor recently visited the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Engr Maikanti Baru, with a request that oil company plays its part in order to fast-track the project.
Engr Mohammed said his firm is currently in talks with a number of investors, with some of them have recently visited the country and held talks on the project.
The Bida basin is an NW-SE trending intracratonic sedimentary basin extending from Kontagora in Niger State to areas slightly beyond Lokoja in Kogi state.
The largest portion of the basin (the northern part), which occurs in the southern half of Niger state, constitutes the study area for hydrocarbon deposits.
The firm has been conducting a survey and preliminary works, as well as drilling of shallow test wells at various locations of the Bida basin to provide better information of the petroleum system.
A preliminary report has been forwarded to the Niger state government by the firm, according to Engr Mohammed.