Days after Buhari inaugurated Kolmani Oil wells, Gombe, Bauchi fight over ownership

Days after Buhari inaugurated Kolmani Oil wells, Gombe, Bauchi fight over ownership

A crisis appears to be brewing over the ownership of the Kolmani Oil and Gas field as both Bauchi and Gombe States have started laying claims to the oil wells.



Officials and residents of the two states have also accused each other of attempting to appropriate the site; which is said to contain one billion barrels of crude oil reserves and 500 billion standard cubic feet of gas.



The development is coming barely two weeks after President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurated oil exploration at the Kolmani oil field by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation Limited and its joint venture partners.





Kolmani in North-East Nigeria reportedly has oil in commercial quantities; with Oil Prospecting Licences 809 and 810, cutting across Kolmani One, Two, Three, Four, and Five.


Speaking during the event, Buhari disclosed that the project has attracted over $3bn in investments so far.



The president said, “We are pleased with the current discovery of over 1b barrels of oil reserves; 500 billion Cubic Feet of Gas within the Kolmani area and the huge potential for more deposits as we intensify exploration efforts.’’



 “It is, therefore, to the credit of this administration that at a time when there is near zero appetites for investment in fossil energy; coupled with the location challenges, we are able to attract investment of over $3bn to this project,” he added.


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Buhari noted that the governors of Bauchi and Gombe states had given assurances of their unwavering commitment; as well aswillingness to ensure support and cooperation in the localities.



However, the governors’ assurances seemed to have been forgotten; with the two states declaring that they were the rightful owners of the oil-rich field.



While insisting on Gombe’s ownership of the contentious Kolmani field; the Special Adviser to Gombe State Governor on Information Management and Strategy, Alhaji Ahmed  Gara-Gombe, blamed the boundary commission for the controversy.





He stated, “The truth of the matter is that the Kolmani oil well is in Gombe State; Akko Local Government, Pindiga emirate, Tai district, Kaltanga Mamuda ward. It has nothing to do with Bauchi State or Alkaleri Local Government.



 “If putting the records straight is what is seen as a crisis, so be it. The National Boundary Commission and the NNPC; are hypocrites in this matter. They know the truth and they should come out clean.”



According to Gara-Gombe, the solution is to give Gombe what belongs to it, adding; “Kolmani One is in Bauchi State in Alkeleri, let them go and explore that one. Four oil wells are in Gombe.’’


Independent jury



He noted, ‘’Again, we need an independent jury; to determine and verify our claims. Our people whose land was dubiously taken in the name of an access road and were paid between N64,000 to N117,000 as compensation by the NNPC must be paid appropriately.



 “NNPC must go to the Gombe side and also construct a road as they did on the Bauchi side. Besides, Pindiga (Gombe) to Kolmani is; shorter and friendly terrain than the Bauchi (side) which is longer and unfriendly terrain.’’

About The Author

Chuks Ofurum is a staff of 1ST NEWS. He writes the weekly column "The Mouthpiece". [email protected]

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