Tafawa Balewa knew oil existed in the north, but kept it a secret for younger generation – Ex-Minister

Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, the first prime minister of Nigeria

Mr. Yerima Abdullahi, a former Minister of Education, Science and Technology, has revealed that Nigeria’s first Prime Minister, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, was aware of crude oil deposits in Northern-Nigeria, but however decided to leave it for younger generations.

According to Abdullahi, Balewa knew about the oil but deliberately didn’t explore it, saving it for future generation.

“Oil and gas existed before we were born. Even our elders, including the Tafawa Balewa government, knew but decided not to make so much noise about it, but to leave it for the younger generations,” he said.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) had few weeks ago announced the discovery of oil deposit at the Gongola Basin.

Abdullahi in his statement noted that the discovery of oil in the north had shamed those who describe the North as a parasite on Nigeria.

“The future is now. Fortunately, the oil was found in Bauchi, which is our home. We expect many other mineral resources such as gold and copper to be discovered, and not just oil, in the North,” he said.

“We are glad that oil has been found in the North and it will add to Nigeria’s wealth because we believe in the unity of the country. We don’t begrudge any part of the country or Nigerians from partaking in the wealth God has given us,” he added.

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