PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari, on Tuesday, directed the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to commence hydrocarbon exploratory activities in Benue State, as part of efforts to guarantee energy security in the country.
The corporation and the state government have, therefore, reinvigorated their collaboration on the Ethanol project which was geared towards production of biofuels for energy sufficiency.
The Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr Maikaniti Baru, made this known while playing host to a delegation of the Benue State government led by Terwase Orbunde, at the NNPC Towers in Abuja.
Ethanol, according to him, when blended with Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) otherwise known as petrol, would ensure excellent performance of vehicles, as energy sufficiency and proficiency were part of the cardinal objectives of the NNPC.
A similar programme in Brazil has a thriving biofuels industry providing quantum economic benefits including creation of hundreds of thousands of employment opportunities for nationals of that country.
Earlier, the leader of the delegation, Orbunde, appreciated the corporation for resolving the recent fuel supply challenges and pledged the readiness of the state government to support the quick take off of the Ethanol project, adding that the project would generate jobs for Nigerians.
He assured the NNPC of full support and cooperation from the state government and the host communities, assuring that the government fully identified itself with the energy policy of President Buhari led Federal Government.
It will be recalled that NNPC initiated a renewable energy programme in August 2005 which was in conformity with the Kyoto Protocol agreement to which Nigeria was a signatory.
The primary aim of the programme was to link the agricultural sector with the Oil and Gas Industry. It was also aimed at gradually reducing the nation’s dependence on imported gasoline, reducing environmental pollution as a result of consumption of wholesale fossil fuel and creating a commercially viable industry that could boast of sustainable domestic jobs.