A former Managing Director of Kogi Agricultural Development Project (ADP), Mr. Oyisi Okatahi, has called for proactive measures to ensure safety, profitability and sustenance of the newly discover crude oil in Okengwe, Okene local government area of the state.
In a short video uploaded on Youtube, Okatahi called on the state government to expedite action on the new discovery.
He confirmed that preliminary test carried out on samples from the water well located around Makaranta/Utabo in Okengwe confirmed that the substance discovered as crude oil.
Okatahi, with experience in oil and gas industry, said a member of Okengwe Development Association (ODA) sent samples from the well to him. He promised to send the samples to standard laboratory of an international oil and gas company for further tests.
“Preliminary test results are out and it is confirmed that it is condensate, a hydrocarbon. It is real oil,” he said.
He, however, cautioned that celebration be in moderation while efforts are made to ensure the discovery progress into tangible venture that will benefit all.
“We need to learn how oil has been a curse to other communities and make sure we do not repeat these same mistakes.
“First, we must think about safety. Oil exploration causes a lot of environmental degradation. Look at the oil-rich Niger Delta, we talk about oil spills, gas flaring, waters are polluted, fishes are affected, land is polluted. We must make sure we protect our environment, if by God’s grace we progress with this.
“Secondly, we must leverage on this wisely to ensure profitability. We must work for and ensure peace in the community. One of the key factor that guarantee profitability is peace.
“Today, everybody is talking of going green. Oil will not be here forever as the world is looking for alternative sources of energy. So, while we have it, we need to look at how it will be sustainable in the long term.
“People should not be lazy, having a sense of entitlement. We found oil, we don’t work again, we don’t farm again. There should be a balance, a way to make sure that it is profitable and people still work hard and gain from the blessing. I actually believe it is going to be a blessing for the people,” he said.
Okatahi suggested that Kogi state government establish its own oil company, like Bayelsa state, through partnerships with local and foreign firms.