The Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, on Thursday, said that the Nigerian government will soon resume oil exploration activities in the Lake Chad region.
The minister disclosed this in Maiduguri, Borno State capital, after a meeting with the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, at the headquarters of the Operations Ladiya Dole Theater Command
Mr Sylva was accompanied to the meeting by the Group Managing director of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, Mele Kyari.
The minister and his entourage, who arrived Maiduguri at about 11.30 a.m., were received by Mr Buratai at the headquarters of the Operation Lafiya Dole.
The minister and his entourage immediately entered into a closed-door meeting with the Chief of Army Staff and other top officers of the Nigeria Army.
After the meeting that lasted about 30 minutes, the minister informed journalists that the ministry appreciated the army's exploits in the Northeast region, stressing that the successes of their operations have encouraged the federal government to consider resumption of exploration in the region.
"Having thanked the military, we also want to commence the exploration and drilling activities here," the minister said.
"We are commencing because we believe that there is relative peace here enough for us to continue drilling in the Northeast.
"As we all know we have found oil in Gombe; and we believe there is enough oil to be found here as well. We have seen a lot of prospect in the Chad Basin."
He said the exploration activities will be done in collaboration with the Nigeria Army
Apart from the GMD of NNPC, the minister was also accompanied to the meeting by the Group General Manager Exploration services, Abdullahi Bomai.
The Nigerian government had in July 2017 suspended the oil prospecting project in the Lake Chad region after suspected members of Boko Haram attacked a team of Geological engineers from the University of Maiduguri who were engaged by NNPC to carry out a survey of a certain portion of the Lake Chad region in Borno State.
At least five members of the geological team and nine soldiers were killed in the shooting that ensued during the attack. Three other geologists were abducted and released months after.