The Gombe State Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with an oil and gas company, Rift Oil and Petroleum Company, for the exploration of petroleum products in the state.
Governor Inuwa Yahaya, who chaired the signing ceremony on Tuesday, said more than ever before, the need to extract the discovered oil and gas in the Kolmani oil field, had become necessary.
He said with the signing of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) and the clamour by some states to collect and retain the Value Added Tax (VAT) the new arrangement would go a long way in the IGR drive of his administration.
The move by the state comes amidst disagreements between the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and some governors from the southern part of the country over the right to collect VAT.
Mr Yahaya, who said there is commercial discovery of hydrocarbon in Kolmani site and other energy sources, expressed bitterness that some elements consider the north as a parasite despite the abundant minerals in the region.
He blamed the lack of political will to explore the abundant mineral resources in the state for the benefit of the people on the part of previous administrations, saying it was reponsible for its current economic predicament.
The governor also disclosed that his administration, having actualised its vision on developmental policies and programmes, has been taking delibrate steps to open the state for industrial advancement through colloboration with genuine investors aimed at harnessing the its God-given endowments for the benefit of the people.
He explained that he had on several occassions engaged President Muhammadu Buhari on the need to put pressure on NNPC and other relevant agencies and organisations to expedite action on the exploration of oil in the state.
He expressed confidence in the ability of Rift Oil and Petroleum Company to deliver on the terms because of its track record in the oil and gas industry.
“The need for us to explore and get maximum benefit from our God-given natural endowments is imperative now having realised how much ground we have lost in that direction,” Mr Yahaya said.
The governor further explained that benefits from such huge investment to Gombe State and the country cannot be quantified, citing the signing of MoU with NNPC on development of biofuels in the state.
He also said the N16.4 billion Muhammadu Buhari Industrial Park and the proposal by Madugu cement to establish a cement factory in Kembu and Kwali in Akko and Yamaltu Debe LGAs as indications of Gombe State’s vision and readiness in investment drive.
Mr Yahaya therefore appealed to the host communities of these Industries to cooperate and support goverment and the Investors for their smooth take off and operations, adding that steps are being taken to avoid the negative experiences associated with oil and gas.
Aldo speaking at the event, the Chairman of Rift Oil and Petroleum Company, Rabiu Suleiman, who briefed the governor and made elaborate presentation on history and politics of oil exploration in the northern part of Nigeria, assured that the hydrocarbon deposit discovered in the Kolmani site is of large commercial quantity.
He said Gombe State stands to benefit tremendously in terms of jobs and wealth creation as well as infrastructural development in addittion to enhanced commercial activities.
He also explained that the MoU signed and other engagements on the projects will fully capture the interest of the host communities and government to avoid the experience of the Niger Delta people.
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