Pres Buhari and Gov Inuwa Yahaya
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Fast track oil exploration in the North, Gombe Governor tells Buhari

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Gombe Governor Inuwa Yahaya has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to do everything within his powers to ensure the exploration of crude oil in the Northern part of the country.

This, he said, will no longer put the North at a disadvantage and ensure “balancing” between the North and the South.

“There is need to exploit oil and gas in the North, in doing so we will have balance. While oil and gas is discovered up North and there is oil and gas in the South, there will be balance.

“And everybody will now be his brother’s keepers trying to mingle and mix up. Everybody can enjoy the benefits of God’s endowed resources that we have in this country if we are ready to key in and do the correct thing,” Yahaya said.

Briefing State House correspondents after meeting with President Buhari, the governor called on him to pressure the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to expedite action on the exploration.

 “They should expedite action on the take off  knowing fully well that oil and gas is under the exclusive preserve of the federal government.”

The governor said he also discussed with the president the issue of the oil discovered in the Benue trough in Konami area around Bauchi and Gombe states, noting that a lot had been achieved in exploration in the area.

The governor said he also impressed the need to fast-track its take-off on the president so that people can benefit from the potentials of the resources the country is endowed with.

He praised the President for his passion in the exploration and the interest of investors in developing the oil and gas deposit in the area.

On the September 1 deadline on the ban on open grazing ban in Southern Nigeria, Yahaya, pleaded with Buhari to fast-track the implementation of the  National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP).

According to him, the implementation will resolve the problem of accommodation that may arise from the movement of herders back to the North following the ban.

Yahaya called on the federal government to develop the Wawa-Zange grazing reserve in the state to ensure accommodation for the large number of herders that are likely to moved back to the North.

He said in the event that herders are dislocated from the Southern states and without a place to return to, it may spark off another crisis in the country.

On the purpose of his visit to Aso Rock, the governor  said: “We discussed the issue of Wawa-Zange grazing reserve. I think it is the largest grazing reserve that is gazetted in the whole of Nigeria totaling 144,000 hectares.

“I believe that Mr. President earlier in 2020 precisely in his 2020 January speech acknowledged and approved that the National Livestock Transformation Plan will take off with a model from Gombe, the Wawa-Zange reserve.

“But so far, nothing serious has been done on that, and with the recent outburst, with the position taken by governors of southern parts of this country, there is the need for us to fast-track the process of building that place so that in the event our people move in multitudes to come back to resettle, we will have space for them.

“We will avoid situations where there will be rancor and there will be no issues to do either with farmers/herders again or issues to do with the herders themselves having problems because they cannot have any space for them to stay.”

To implement the grazing reserves, Yahaya said the state had requested for funds from the president.

“I believe that every other state will do so because you need the resources in order to implement and there is scarcity of financial resources in the state.

“We have requested but I will not tell you how much. But at least, we have submitted a proposal that is fully backed by a feasibility report that indicates what we require.

“But with size of Wasa-Zange, 144,000 hectares that is specifically meant for cattle and other livestock, really, there’s justification for government to put in money so that we can avoid this rancor and issues to do with farmers/herders that has already degenerated in some parts of the country to lead to banditry, cattle rustling and kidnapping for ransom,” he explained.

On the new Muhammadu Buhari Industrial Park in Dadikowa being implemented in the state, Yahaya said it would encourage industrialists to come and invest in the state.

According to him, necessary infrastructure such as 24-hour electricity, water and security have already been provided.

Yahaya suggested the use of the  rehabilitated NYSC Orientation Camp in the state as a rehabilitation centre for repentant insurgents.

“This is necessary because the state now realizes that rather than the existing short term rehabilitation plan, the massive return of terrorists makes it imperative to have long term rehabilitation plan.”

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