The Sokoto State Government has awarded a contract for the statewide accelerated exploration project, according to the Commissioner of Solid Minerals and Natural Resources Development, Alhaji Bello Muhammad.
Muhammad disclosed this, on Wednesday, at the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), Regional Technology Knowledge Sharing Programme on Hydrocarbon potentials, in Sokoto Basin.
The programme was organised by the fund in conjunction with the state government and the Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto.
Muhammad added that the contract, which was awarded to a Chinese Firm, Shenzhen Investment Group Limited (Hong Kong), entails the undertaking of preliminary fields work on the basin.
The Commissioner says, “This endeavour will look at the minerals distribution, quantity, quality and size of deposits, possible reserve estimation and evaluation of general characteristics of Sokoto Basin.
“The project is divided into three phases. The first phase of the project which took almost nine months has been completed and the report to that effect is right now with our Ministry.”
Muhammad also said that the result of the investigation has shown that the Sokoto basin has a favourable oil and gas prospects.
It was also suggested for further investigation which involves other processes including drilling using Magneto Telluric Machines so as to clarify the deepness and thickness of hydrocarbon strata.
The Commissioner further stated that the Ministry was established to facilitate the diversification of the state’s economy through harnessing and exploitation of abundant solid minerals and natural resources available in the state for industrialization and economic development.
Muhammad said that by this, more revenue would accrue to the state, employment opportunities would be provided and increase wealth of the citizenry.
The Commissioner further commended the efforts of Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal for committing not only financial resources, but putting his political will to actualise the exploration of hydrocarbon in Sokoto basin.
This, he noted, could be seen from the governor’s actions and speeches, while his recent visit to the NNPC was a clear demonstration of his strong desire to bring this project to reality.
Muhammad added, “It will interest you to note that, this visit has yielded positive result, as the NNPC had since sent their technical consultants from IBB University, Lapai, in collaboration with the Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto.
“Samples were collected across Wurno, Kalambaina, Gundumi, Taloka, Duka-maje and Gamba forests (Rima and Sokoto Groups), and the result of the analysis had since been presented to the NNPC.
“We hope that the NNPC will soon facilitate further exploration process in the basin. Let me at this point commend 4th e untiring efforts of our purposeful, visionary, focussed and forward looking Governor, for his usual support and taking this very bold initiative of exposing the vast solid minerals and natural resources in the state, for the overall development of our state country in general.”