The New Nigeria Development Company (NNPC) owned by 19 northern state governments has disclosed plans to commence exploration of oil and gas in the Lake Chad area, in the North-East, the LeadershipNg website reported.

Board of Directors’ Chairman, Alhaji Bashir Mohammed Dalhatu, expressed regrets over the insecurity in the North-East that had affected the exploration scheduled to begin next year, according to The Nation.

In spite of political instability and insurgency in the northern parts of the country,  the company’s operating income increased by 42 % this year,  while its operating profit recorded a 73 % rise before tax.

Dalhatu also explained that the continuous decline in government revenue, which resulted in reduced foreign reserves and currency devaluation, had posed further challenges to the company’s operations.