The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu has said the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation will suspend operation in Maiduguri pending security clearance.
Kachikwu condemned the attack on oil workers across the country, and commiserated with families of staff of the NNPC and security operatives who lost their lives in an attempt to rescue 10 oil workers that were held hostage by Boko Haram members in Maiduguri.
Kachikwu said the rescue mission witnessed casualties across board but cannot confirm the number of lives lost and those rescued.
“Obviously the security outfits should take a second look at what has happened and any area where Boko Haram is operating; we need to see how to provide more protection in those areas, certainly we will not go back unless they give us security clearance.“
“When we will resume will be obviously be decided upon the security on ground.
“So my simple answer will be that provided that there is sufficient clearance, I don’t see why we will not continue to explore oil.“
The suspected Boko Haram terror group had on July 25, attacked the convoy of NNPC Frontier Exploration services and Surface Geochemistry sampling crew in Gubio Local Government area of Borno.
Also attacked were consultants from the University of Maiduguri, some military personnel and members of the civilian JTF escort team.
The team was returning to Maiduguri after conducting geological study of part of Lake Chad Basin in preparation for re- entry for seismic activities.