The federal government on Thursday announced that it is suspending crude oil exploration work in the Lake Chad Basin until such a time when security is determined to have improved sufficiently for work to continue.
This information was conveyed to the press by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu.
Kachikwu said the federal government will need to get security clearance after due assessment before work will resume in the future.
He went ahead to confirm the reported attack on NNPC workers and support team on Tuesday, commiserating with the families of those who were killed and assuring of government’s support.
However, Kachikwu said he could not confirm the information released by the military that the kidnapped staff had all been rescued, or the actual number of casualties as he was yet to be briefed.
He added that vital data on the incident was still being collated by the military.
Tuesday’s deadly incident reignited debates as to whether or not the federal government had done a thorough and comprehensive security evaluation of the Boko Haram-ravaged Lake Chad Basin before authorizing exploration work.
Other observers also questioned the economic sense in advancing exploration efforts in an area that had been explored for decades without success.