By Yakubu Lamai
Time is a measure of events, duration, and change. Time helps us to structure our expectations and also to measure our performance. The 2023 election is a decimal of time, just as the discovery and drilling of oil in Nasarawa State is an imprint on the sands of time.
Exactly 252 days ago was the day (and time) President Buhari showed unprecedented courage by transforming NNPC from a government enterprise into a fully commercialized oil company.
Today 36 weeks after the birth of NNPC Limited, the President has etched his name in gold by the official “spud-in or commencement of drilling and exploration of crude oil in Nasarawa State.
Indeed, President Muhammadu Buhari is without doubt the beacon, visioner and the inspiration behind the drilling of oil in Nasarawa State, but it is safe to adduce that the Governor of Nasarawa State, Engr Abdullahi A. Sule who is also an oilman played a key pivotal role to fast track the practical action taken by the federal government to explore oil in Nasarawa State.
Recall that for years, Nigeria has declared its intension to explore oil in the Chad Basin, Dahomey Basin, Anambra Platform, the Calabar Embankment, Sokoto Basin, Bida Basin, and the Ultra-Deepwater Niger Delta as well as the Benue Trough, but such audacious ideas always stopped at the doorstep of lofty dreams and intangible ideas.
Engr Sule has always been practical in his orientation from his tutelage as a student of Government Technical College Bukuru to the time he went to obtain a BSc in Mechanical Engineering and a MSc in Industrial Technology from Indiana State University, USA.
As tales of the extraordinary go, Engineer Sule, was the outstanding helmsman who became Managing Director/CEO of African Petroleum (AP) at its most economically trying time period when the share capital of AP was eroded with negative balance sheet of N22 Billion.
Unsurprisingly and without waving a magic wand, it took Engr Abdullahi A. Sule only 6 years to turn around the ailing fortunes of African Petroleum of negative -N22 Billion (which he came and met), to a positive surplus share capital of +N5 billion.
Notably Sule also served on the board of Star-AP Oilfield Services before he went on to become the Group Managing Director (GMD) of Dangote Sugar and alas providence called him to mount the saddle as Governor of Nasarawa State in 2019.
So, with over 35 years proven experience in the Oil & Gas itll only be a natural instinct for Engr Abdulahi A. Sule to prod both President Muhammadu Buhari and Mallam Mele Kolo Kyari, his university schoolmate in America, to Fastrack the drilling of oil in Nasarawa State.
President Muhammadu Buhari has already heralded a new era in the petroleum and gas industry by the passage of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) of 2021; and he continues to do his best to ensure that his mandates are implemented in the remaining days before May 29th 2023, when he will return to his farm in Daura with his pride, dignity and integrity intact.
For the people of Nasarawa State, we owe Mr. President a sense of inestimable gratitude for bequeathing on our people a parting gift of lifelong prosperity through Petroleum Exploration.
Nasarawa State also thanks Mallam Mele Kyari, the torch bearer and activator who planted the seed of the farsighted idea for NNPC to morph and take its rightful place beside Saudi Arabias Aramco and Brazil’s Petrobras. It’s Kyari’s brainchild that has today birth Ebenyi-A oil well in Nasarawa State.
Finally, there is a chapter in the Holy Quran called “Surah Ar-Rahman which is often regarded as the ‘beauty of the Quran’, because it is stated in “Ar-rahman” that God Almighty “laid out the earth like a vast roll of carpet and blessed the land (offshore) with fruit, palm trees, dates, grains and “scented plants; while God also created the seas and enriched it with pearl, coral etc. Today crude oil is found in the deep seas as well as on land, just like Nasarawa State has been blessed.
This was the analogy which the Emir of Lafia, Justice Sidi Bage Muhammad was making when he reminded the gathering at the official spud-in that the discovery of oil in Nasarawa State was a special gift and favor from Allah, for which the people cannot deny and must be grateful.
Indeed, the drilling of oil has to do with a rare blessing from Almighty God and this is even more divine for Nasarawa State, because at this point in its’s history and development, the state is lucky to have a governor in the person of Engr Abdullahi A. Sule, who has over 35 years proven experience and global exposure in the Oil & Gas Subsector.
A man by the name Nasir Daniya PhD, FNCS put this truism so succinctly when he commented on his personal Twitter handle @nasirdaniya: “What did this Nasarawa State Governor Abdullahi Sule study? He’s explaining Oil & Gas at @channelstv more than any other Nigerian Petroleum Minister Id listened to. He sounds more knowledgeable & well educated. That man should be at the central government, not by the side of the FCT. (Dr. Daniya posted this at 7.34 pm on March 28th 2023 while he was watching Engr Sule on CHANNEL TV POLITICS LIVE”
Congratulations Your Excellency, Engr Abdullahi A. Sule! As INEC presents your Certificate of Return today, let the word go forth to friends and foe alike that sentiments aside; “A.A. SULE IS RIGHTFULLY THE BEST MAN FOR THE JOB OF GOVERNOR” on the basis of proven performance, experience, pedigree, worldview, competence, character and sincere fear of God, at this OPPORTUNE TIME in the history of Nasarawa State. “This is A.A. SULE TIME!!”
*Lamai is Director General: Strategic Communication & Events Management to Governor Abdullahi A. Sule