A trade unionist, Mr.
Oluwaseyi Gambo, has said that the Federal Government’s directives for immediate exploration of crude oil in Benue could change the fortunes of Nigeria.
Gambo, an ex-spokesman of Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), made the observation in an interview with newsmen in Lagos.
It would be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari, had last week directed the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to commence oil exploration in the Benue Trough.
Benue Trough is a major geological formation underlying large part of Nigeria extending about 1,000 km North-East from the Bight of Benin to Lake Chad.
Gambo said this step would increase the country’s GDP and reduce the danger associated with pipelines network construction across communities.
“Since Niger Republic has struck the black gold, it is most likely that we have it on this side of the divide.
“One thing we should take note of is that the government of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo promoted this move.
“It would not have taken place if the soil formation in certain areas does not suggest that oil deposits can be found there.
“Domestically, it would reduce the exposure of large chunk of our communities that the present pipeline network exposes to danger of hosting same.
“The Kaduna refinery, for instance, and refineries that will spring up will effectively take care of the Petroleum needs of the region (Northern).
“This means a stop to the thousands of trucks that move between the South and North carrying petroleum products daily.
“This will reduce the abundant motor accidents, the wear and tear of our roads infrastructure due to the movement of these trucks.
“Our strategic reserves will also be easily replenished because the oil in the North cannot have easy access to the sea where crude oil theft thrives.
“It will be a welcome development if we can have crude oil in commercial quantities up north.
“It should not be an eternal exercise with no end in sight because there is a new technology which precisely reveals what is under-ground”, he said.
He, however, commended President Buhari for giving the marching order to NNPC to commence the exploration.
A trade unionist, Mr.