The Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) has started exploring for oil in the Northern Region.
The region, which forms about 52 per cent of the Voltaian Basin that stretches across 104,000 square kilometres (km2) of land, is said to be a potential hub of commercial quantities of oil.
About 16 districts in the region are said to have a huge potential for the natural resource which has not been harnessed.
During a courtesy call on the overlord of the Gonja Traditional Area, Yagbonwura Tuntumba Boresa I, as part of a tour of the Northern Region, the Minister of Energy, Mr John-Peter Amewu, gave an assurance that every effort would be made to discover the oil and harness it for national development.
The minister's entourage included the Deputy Minister of Energy in charge of Petroleum, Dr Mohammed Amin Adam; the Northern Regional Minister, Mr Salifu Saeed, and other officials of the Energy Ministry as well as the Northern Regional Coordinating Council (NRCC).
Mr Amewu called on the Yagbonwura and other traditional rulers to cooperate with the government to ensure that the resource was discovered and exploited.
He stressed that the government was committed to ensuring that oil resources were properly harnessed to benefit the host communities and the country at large.
The Energy Ministry, he added, would address challenges related to erratic power supply that had confronted the Northern Region.
Meanwhile, Mr Saeed noted that the Northern Region had a huge investment potential and added that the discovery of oil in commercial quantities would help address the daunting development challenges in the area.
Mr Saeed bemoaned the loss of livelihoods resulting from the perennial spillage of the Bagre Dam in Burkina Faso and asked for pragmatic steps to be taken to address that challenge.
He, therefore, called on the Ministry of Energy and other relevant state agencies to take steps to tap the excess water from the Bagre Dam to generate more hydroelectric power.
"There is hydro power potential here because steps can be taken to provide small dams to store excess water from the Bagre Dam which can then be used to generate more electricity. The spillage of the dam should rather be a blessing to us and not the other way round," he said.
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