The Kwara State Government says it is set to join the list of oil-producing states following the discovery of crude oil in Ara Orin in Irepodun Local Government.
Governor AbdulFatah Ahmed said that the discovery came as the state identified solid minerals development and mining as key sources of internally- generated revenue to fund its development programmes.
The elated governor explained that the discovery was first highlighted by a farmer who discovered crude oil spouting from his farm and seven other adjoining sites and alerted the state government.
He said geologists from the state Ministry of Industry and Solid Minerals were subsequently directed to confirm whether the substance was indeed crude oil and if so, identify the blend.
According to him, the ministry officials did not only confirm the substance as crude oil but also identified the blend as Bonny Light, a high-grade of crude oil preferred by European and American refineries due to its unique properties.
A statement by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Communications to the governor, Dr Muyideen Akorede, disclosed that the find was subsequently verified through independent analysis by a private oil company which also confirmed the government’s findings.
Ahmed said further tests were being carried out to determine if the crude discovered in Ara Orin is in commercial quantities, and pointed out that the finding was a welcome boost to the state’s economy and Kwara’s emerging reputation as one of Nigeria’s most conducive investment destinations.
The governor identified solid minerals development and mining as one of his administration’s key policy thrust for driving development in the state. He said the sector would go a long way in boosting Kwara’s internally-generated revenue by attracting foreign and indigenous investors to the state.
He added that the Ministry of Industry and Solid Minerals had been directed to catalogue all mineral and mining sites in the state with a view to regulating the sector and effectively managing the state’s resources.