Why Anambra, Enugu, Kogi can’t be declared Oil Producing States now — DPR

Posted by Henry Umoru, Abuja | 3 May 2019 | 890 times

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•Petroleum Minister of State, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu

The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) yesterday gave an insight into why Anambra, Enugu and Kogi States cannot be declared oil-producing states.

According to DPR, the three States cannot be categorised as oil-producing states for now for the very reason that they have not met the necessary requirements.

In a letter to the Senator Tayo Alasoadura APC, Ondo Central Led Senate Committee on Petroleum Upstream, the DPR explained that the states can only get to such status if necessary conditions are met.

According to the letter by DPR, the three states could only be declared oil states if the oil firm in the area, Orient Oil, scales up its operations from oil prospecting to oil mining lease.

In his remarks, Chairman of the Committee, Senator Tayo Alasoadura who noted that the issue at stake was about a referral to the committee on the contentious boundary between Anambra, Kogi and Enugu States, however stressed that a report that “FG confirms Anambra oil producing ‎status” threw up the matter to the front burner.

Alasoadura who noted that his committee lacked the power to declare a state oil producing, stressed however that the committee believed that the agency is in the best position to settle the matter is the National Boundary Commission.

He further explained that the committee wrote to the DPR “but their response was not quite satisfactory.”

He said, “that is why we want to hear from your commission.”

Speaking when the Committee met with the National Boundary Commission, Alasoadura said the committee decided to hear from the National Boundary Commission because “when we had a similar issue in Ondo State in the past, it was your commission that resolved it.”

Alasoadura, however, explained that the Boundary Commission cannot do anything without the cooperation of the states, adding that states should also establish their own boundary commissions to enable them work directly with the National Boundary Commission.

He said that the committee will meet with the oil firm to find out why they could not meet up with the requirements, just as he assured that the committee will write to DPR to find out why since 2012, the license given to the company to test run the oil extracting has not been approved for Permanent one.

In his contribution, Senator Chukwuka Utazi, PDP, Enugu North who noted that the issue of OPL 915 and 916 dated back to antiquity, said, “I didn’t know that this motion would come up, because we had already resolved the issue when Senator Isaac Mohammed Alfa was away.

“Kogi and Enugu states do not have problem; the two are in agreement. But Enugu and Anambra are not in agreement.

“We in Enugu want to be declared as oil producing state too. Let that be done pending when the boundary commission finishes its work.”

•Excerpted from a Vanguard report.



Source: News Express

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