Fire rages in Caritas University Enugu as borehole driller strikes gas


The National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) has confirmed receiving reports of gas leak which has engulfed into a fire at Emene in Enugu.

Mr Idris Musa, Director-General of NOSDRA, said late on Thursday that the gas leak was caused by water drilling activities which hit a gas reservoir.

Musa, who described the flammable gas discharged as natural gas, said that emergency response efforts were underway to avert disaster from the incident.

According to him, “there is a natural gas problem at a borehole drilling point at Caritas University, Emene-Enugu.

“In the course of drilling very deep to reach the aquifer, the drilling machine hit the gas level.

“The Chief Executive of Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) has been notified.

“The Zonal Head of National Emergency Management Agency has secured the assistance of both Federal and State Fire Services.

“Efforts are ongoing to secure more technical assistance to bring the situation under control,” Musa said on Thursday night.

Analysts say that if federal government confirms there is commercial quantity of gas in the place, which is most likely, it will take over the entire University premises and adjourning land.

This will lead to payment of adequate compensation to property owners in the area and declaration of Enugu as oil bearing state which will benefit from the 13 per cent derivation from upstream derivation as contained in the constitution.

Meanwhile, even as the Enugu state government t appear not to be too interested in the pursuit of being declared an oil bearing state based on the crude oil deposits in Iga general area in Uzo Uwani Local Government Area, which Anambra and Kogi states have already benefited from due to towns contiguous with the general area of operation of Orient Petroleum Plc, we gathered that stakeholders have been unhappy with Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi for his non-challant approach to increasing the revenue base of the state through oil revenue derivation procedure and are struggling to see that his eventual successor would be someone with the mindset of a business man and consumate economist.

For that reason, the outcome of the governorship election in Enugu state might not be party based but on the basis of the capacity of the candidate irrespective of the political party.