Oil, gas exploration in Alkaleri will reverse poverty, underdevelopment in Bauchi – Gov, Mohammed

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Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, has said the oil and gas exploration at Kolmani River at Alkaleri Local Government Area of the state by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) will reverse the narrative of poverty and underdevelopment in the state.

The Governor made the declaration on Thursday on the floor of the state House of Assembly while presenting the state’s proposed budget of N195.355 billion for the 2022 fiscal year, tagged, “Budget of Consolidation and Continuous Commitment.

He informed that exploration activities by the NNPC in the area had revealed huge deposits of oil and gas, leading the NNPC to advertise oil prospecting licences (OPL) 809 and 810.

In his words, “At home here in Bauchi, exploration activities by the NNPC at the Kolmani River at Alkaleri LGA had revealed huge deposits of oil and gas with oil prospecting licences (OPL) 809 and 810 advertised by the NNPC.

“This is expected to usher in a lot of economic activity that should reverse the pervasive narrative of poverty and underdevelopment of our people.”

Governor Mohammed explained that his administration’s massive infrastructural development, especially roads, had opened up hitherto productive but inaccessible areas with a potential to create wider markets.

He said his administration had mitigated job losses caused by the outbreak COVID-19 pandemic as well as stimulating commercial activities in the markets through massive housing development projects.

“The massive housing development projects embarked upon across the major urban areas has not only impacted to reduce the huge housing deficit but has also created hundreds of thousands of direct and indirect jobs to mitigate against the job losses brought about by Covid-19 and stimulate commercial activities in the markets,” the governor said.

Mohammed informed that the World Bank intervention programme, Nigeria-Cares, aimed at improving the lives of the people from poverty, economic losses and deprivation exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic would soon commence in the state.

He said, “It is further worthy of mention that we are at the final stages towards the commencement of the implementation of the Nigeria-Cares Programme; an interventionist measure initiated with the World Bank aimed at improving the lives of our people from the crutches of poverty, economic losses and deprivation exacerbated by the pandemic.

“The programme will be built on three key result areas. The first focuses on social transfers, basic services and livelihood support to poor and vulnerable households. The second component will address the issue of food security and the safe functioning of food Supply chains.

“The third area will support initiatives aimed at facilitating recovery and enhancement of capabilities of micro and small enterprises.”

Each of the components, the governor explained, would further have a number of implementing platforms that would develop and monitor social infrastructure, such as service micro-projects; deliver inputs and services to farmers; invest in various types of agricultural assets and infrastructure; improve food supply chains in underserved areas, and support programmes that would increase the employment of graduates.

“Furthermore, the project will seek to provide quick financial intermediation to needed enterprises to promote and facilitate household micro and small enterprises among others.

“It is gratifying to note that we are on course to meeting the eligibility criteria for participation, with the project due to start within the coming year,” Governor Mohammed assured.

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