Sunday Ode, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday received the governor of Sokoto, Aminu Tambuwal, and his Jigawa; and Yobe counterparts, Abubakar Badaru and Ibrahim Gaidam, respectively at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The three governors who met with the President separately briefed him on current developments in their states.Speaking to State House Correspondents after the meeting, Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal said he came to discuss with the president on the oil exploration in the Sokoto Basin.
He also stated that they discussion quite a number of other issues, specifically on the general well- being and security situation of the country.He said:”Also we have discussed with the President, if you remember very well recently, I was personally at the NNPC towers where we engaged the GMD of the NNPC on possible oil exploration in the Sokoto basin and I have had cause to brief the president on that particular interaction.
“There is a need for the Federal government to continue to support that endeavour which I believe will help in more provision of oil and gas which we believe is very much in abundance in this basin but also in bringing about agricultural revolution in that area.
“If you have gas it will support the power supply which will in turn enhance and influence agro- allied industries that are likely to come on board and also have a positive impact economically on the lives and well- being of the people that are along the basin.. This are some of the issues we discussed with Mr President.
He further explained that “It has always been there since 1957, when the first attempt was made but with the discovery of oil in the Delta which we believe from the information we have is easier to exploit, there was a shift in focus to that of Niger Delta .
” We believe particularly the issue of gas,we need it for our local consumption, we have the conviction that what we have in that area is more than sufficient for an upward of 20 to 30 years of use by the people of the area.”If explored, we don’t have to make pipelines from the Delta region up north to North West states of Sokoto, Zamfara and Katsina, if you do that you will ease the problem of evacuation and transportation or piping as it were of gas and Petroleum products. So it’s a way of providing cheaper services to the people ..
On his part, Governor Gaidam said “I told him that we have now gotten relative peace in Yobe state in terms of the insurgency. For the past two years or so, we have not had any attack by the insurgents in Yobe state. “So I accordingly briefed him and told him that all our IDPs have returned to their bases and resumed their normal businesses. Our problems now are bothering on resettlement, rehabilitation and reconstruction of the destroyed areas by Boko Haram.
He said his administration has been doing it’s best to restore all those facilities which were destroyed by Boko Haram but that they needed assistance from the Federal Government which the president promised to look into.He added that “Well, we have not received a kobo in terms of cash but in terms of materials, food and non food items, we have been receiving a lot which I can not tell you precisely in a quantified form here, we have received enough.
” But during the last administration, Yobe state took care of the Joint Task Force which is a combination of the military, the SSS, the Police, the Mobile Police who were carrying out the war against the insurgency.
” We even paid their allowances, all their logistical needs including patrol vehicles. We have spent quite substantial amount of money in that direction up to about N13 billion during the time of insurgency and we have submitted to the Federal Government if they could refund even 30 percent of that so that we can deploy it in establishment of some infrastructure like hospital. Recently, we have awarded a construction of cargo airport, if we can get a portion of that money, it will go a long way in relieving some of our problems” he stated.
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