In an era when there is practically no interest in investing in fossil fuels, President Muhammadu Buhari claims that his administration has received over US$3 billion in investment.
In a statement, Femi Adesina, the President's spokesman, said Buhari made this statement during the Kolmani Integrated Development Project's inauguration on Tuesday in Bauchi.
The company is an entirely integrated in-situ development project that includes upstream production, oil refining, power generation, and fertiliser.
Buhari said: ”Considering the landlocked location and the huge capital requirement, the economics of the project is a challenging proposition.
”Consequently, from the outset, I instructed NNPC Limited to utilize and leverage its vast asset portfolio across all corridors of its operations to de-risk the project to attract the much-needed investment.
“It is therefore to the credit of this administration that at a time when there is near zero appetites for investment in fossil energy, coupled with the location challenges, we are able to attract investment of over US$ 3 billion to this project.”
He, therefore, praised NNPCL and its collaborators for their successful oil and gas finding in the Kolmani River Field.
The project's enormous expenditure, according to the president, "will undoubtedly be a reference topic for discussion in the sector as we pursue the just energy transition programme that will culminate in our country achieving Net- Zero position by the year 2060."
He claims that the project has enormous advantages for the nation, including, but not limited to, energy security, financial security, and general socioeconomic development.
According to President Buhari, instructing NNPCL to investigate oil and gas fields outside of the Niger Delta Basins had finally produced admirable results.
“This is indeed significant considering that, efforts to find commercial oil and gas outside the established Niger Delta Basin were attempted for many years without the desired outcomes.
“However, the successful discovery of the Kolmani Oil and Gas field by NNPC and its partners has finally broken the jinx by the confirmation of huge commercial deposits of hydrocarbons in Kolmani River field.
“This discovery had emanated from our charge to the NNPC to re-strategize and expand its oil and gas exploration footprints to the frontier basins of Anambra, Dahomey, Sokoto, Benue trough, Chad and Bida Basins.”
The president stated that identical activities are currently being carried out in the other basins.
"We are thrilled with the recent discovery of over 1 billion barrels of oil reserves and 500 billion cubic feet of gas within the Kolmani area and the vast potentials for new deposits as we intensify exploration activities," the official said.
While looking forward to the successful delivery of the Project which he called “another vital pillar in the Country’s economic architecture,” Buhari urged NNPCL and partners to work with all stakeholders for the smooth execution of the project.
“I have engaged the Governors of Bauchi and Gombe States, and both have given me assurances of their unwavering commitment and willingness to ensure support and cooperation in these localities as this activity affects the local populations.
“I urge the NNPC Ltd, NNDC, and their Strategic partners to ensure all lessons learnt from our years of experience as an oil-producing nation are utilized to ensure harmonious relationships with the local communities,” he added.
Timipre Sylva, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, spoke about his involvement with the project in his remarks.
Timipre Sylva worked with a former Minister of Petroleum Resources when NNDC was awarded the oil prospect lease that was flagged off on Tuesday, so he was familiar with the project.
The Group CEO of NNPCL, Mele Kolo Kyari, also spoke at the event.
He noted that decades had passed with little success in the exploration for oil and gas in the frontier basins of Chad, Sokoto, Anambra Platform, Calabar Embarkment, Benue Trough, Dahomey, Bida, and the Ultra-Deepwater Niger Delta.
However, he praised President Buhari's unwavering commitment to ensuring the best exploration and exploitation of the country's natural resources, noting that this led to the April 2019 discovery of commercial oil and gas deposits in the Kolmani Prospect.
"Your Excellency’s consequential directives for NNPC Limited to strategize and utilize available human, technological and other material resources to prosecute exploration activities in all Frontier Basins resulted in the discovery of commercial oil and gas deposits in the Kolmani Prospect in April 2019,” Kyari added.
Bala Mohammed and Mohammed Inuwa Yahaya, the governors of Bauchi and Gombe States, respectively, and Simon Lalong, the chairman of the Northern Governors' Forum and the governor of Plateau State, also sent greetings.
At the occasion, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the APC presidential nominee, and Senate President Ahmad Lawan both made speeches of goodwill.