Today, President Muhammadu Buhari and a delegation of his cabinet members will oversee the first commercial oil drilling in the North. This comes three years after the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Ltd discovered commercial quantities of oil in Northern Nigeria. The groundbreaking is planned for Kolmani OPLs 809 and 810 at the Kolmani field site in Bauchi and Gombe states.
The NNPC announced earlier in 2019, the discovery of oil in the Kolmani River which runs through Bauchi and Gombe states. However, little was reported in the media following the discovery. Sterling Global Oil, the New Nigeria Development Company, which serves as the investment vehicle for the 19 Northern States, and NNPC Limited will all work together to develop the oil field.
Other dignitaries expected at the event include the NNPC Board Chairman, Mrs. Margary Okadigbo; the NNPC Group Managing director, Mallam Mele Kyari; the executive vice president, Upstream, NNPC Limited, Mr. Adokiye Tombomieye; and the chief investment officer of the NNPC Upstream Investment Management Services Ltd., Mr. Bala Wunti.
Furthermore, as this will be the first oil drilling in the North, residents and community leaders in Gombe and Bauchi states have called for job opportunities and a clean environment. Residents described the latest development as a new beginning in their lives, but they urged the government to ensure that they are not excluded from recruitment, compensation, and other opportunities.