Reps want Kogi, Enugu, Anambra declared oil producing states

Crude oil extraction [Photo credit: Bloomberg]

The House of Representatives on Thursday asked the Federal Government to declare Kogi, Enugu and Anambra as oil producing states.

The resolution followed the adoption of a motion jointly moved by Emmanuel Egwu, Tony Nwoye and Patrick Asadu from the three states respectively.

Speaking on their behalf, Mr. Egwu said the government was aware that oil and gas deposits have been found in commercial quantities in Anambra Basin.

The Basin cuts across Ibaji Area, Idah-1 , Alade-l, Atu-l , Inni-1 in Kogi State; Eziagulu Otu, EnugwuOtu, Nzam, Ezi-Anam, Anaku, Omor in Anambra State and Igga, Ojo, Uzo Uwani Areas in Enugu State.

“We are aware that the failure to optimally explore this already established huge deposits in the Anambra Basin which would generate social and economic activities in the Basin has caused disaffection and crisis across those bordering States and occasionally led to bloodshed amongst citizens in the border corridors, where this oil is in high commercial quantity.

“Between 1952 and 1986, three companies, namely; Shell BP (now Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), Elf (now Total Fina Elf) and Agip Energy had dug 25 exploration wells in this Basin but abandoned them due to the Government policy then that these deposits are to be for strategic reserve,” Mr. Egwu added.

There is a boundary demarcation case before the National Boundary Commission among Anambra, Enugu and Kogi States.

But Mr. Egwu said the lawmakers believe that the declaration of these states as oil producing states will not in any way jeopardise the on-going field tracing and provisional boundary demarcation among the states but will rather aid in determining the percentage of derivation accruable to the three states.

He equally noted that hydrocarbon has been found in the Basin but is not yet optimally utilized.

The call by the House is coming barely four months after the Kogi State House of Assembly urged the Federal Government to accord Kogi the status of an oil producing state.

The motion was debated upon and consequently passed.

The House resolved to set up an ad-hoc committee to determine the commercial viability of the oil and gas deposits in the Anambra Basin in order to optimise commercial mining in the Basin where hydrocarbon activities began in 2012, for the benefits of the three states and to increase oil revenue for the country and resolve all outstanding boundary issues among Anambra, Kogi and Enugu states.


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