Following the inauguration of oil exploration at the Kolmani River, Governor Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe has disclosed that the state government would avoid the mistakes made in the Niger Delta by ensuring environmental and economic stability in the region.
President Muhammadu Buhari had on Tuesday flagged-off the Kolmani Integrated Development Project in Bauchi, heralding the commencement of oil exploration in the North East region.
Speaking on the Channels TV current affairs program, Politics Today, Mr Yahaya, stated that going by what has been happening around Niger Delta and other oil producing areas of the world, no government would allow things to go the same way.
“We’ve learnt our lessons. With the developments and what has been happening around the Niger Delta and other oil-producing areas of the world, naturally, no government will allow things to follow the same track,” he said.
“With regard to the issue of the environment, our Ministry of Environment is working hand in hand with the Federal Ministry of Environment and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) so that we will avoid all the mistakes and pitfalls that have been the big challenge of oil exploration and implementation in the southern part of the country.
“Going forward, Gombe State will be working with some consultants that have been guiding us as to what we need to do, especially by providing the required skill, workmanship, and labour that is needed in order to be useful and exploited in the oil operations,” Mr Yahaya added.
The governor assured that the project would bring more jobs and business opportunities for the people of Gombe, saying that the state government had since begun engaging local communities in all the activities.
“There is nothing opaque. We are transparent, and I believe the company and the NNPC itself are so transparent that these days no activity will be taken off the shelf.
“So, we shall make sure that from the environment to the impact on society and the community, there will be no cause for alarm. As a state government, we are ready to partner with any investor.
“There is a window for us to discuss; we are ready to engage our local business community so that along the value chain, anybody that is interested will identify where to fix and where to invest so that eventually, economic activity will be kick-started and it will be enjoyed by the people of the state,” he said.