By: Muhammad Muhammad

A whooping sum of 480million was appropriated from 2017 to 2018 capital expenditure budgetary framework for Oil and Gas prospecting, oversight function on solid mineral and monitoring of mining activities in the state.

The Honorable Commissioner, Niger state Ministry of Mineral Resources, Engineer Ibrahim Mohammad Panti made this known during a World Press Ministerial Briefing tagged STEWARDSHIP organized by the Niger State Ministry of Information and Strategy.

Engineer Panti stressed that out of the 480million only 100.8million was released towards developing a comprehensive mineral resources database, designation of framework for Niger State participation in solid mineral, oil and gas exploration.

Engineer Panti explained that in 2017 130million was appropriated but only 69.8million was released for development of oil exploration in Bida basin, formalization of artisans in the state, capacity building on environmental characterization of mining sites and training of artisans to adopt safe mining at Madaka in Rafi Local government.

The Mineral Resources Commissioner highlighted that in 2018 budgetary provision 350million was approved and only 30.9million was released geared towards enlightenment of artisans against illegal mining, support for miners to enhance rapid development of the sector and acquiring data for the state oil and gas exploration project.

Engineer Panti stated that from 2015 to date under review the ministry had trained 25 artisan’s miners on Gemstone cutting and Polishing as part of empowerment program on solid mineral, he said Governor Abubakar Sani Bello’s restoration agenda in solid Mineral had created and established ZUMA MINERAL DEVELOPMENT COMPANY to enabled the state participate actively in the exploration and exploitation of mineral resources.

The Commissioner pinpointed that the ministry had attended Africa Mining conference in order to learned, network, attracted and educated investors about the state’s mineral endowment, Engineer Panti described the 1st Nigeria International Petroleum Summit and the 2nd International Conference on Prevention of Lead Poisoning associated with Artisan Gold Mining as an eye opener and impacting for the state mineral objectives.

Niger State Mineral Resources Commissioner confirmed that a baseline study report have been received on environmental viability of Oil and Gas in the state, a geographical information system analysis and drilling of shallow wells had been carried out at Makera, Bokani, Kontagora, Enagi and Gulu to determined the Kudu shale.

Engineer Ibrahim Mohammad Panti finally affirmed that Whitepage International Consult had discovered the presence of Hydrocarbon at the Bida Basin, he said talks is in progress to conduct seismic data analysis to prove the viability of the hydrocarbon in commercial quantity.

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