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Senate Declines To Name Kogi Oil-Producing State

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The Senate has said it will not recognise Kogi State as an oil-producing state because it does not contribute to the Federation Account.

Isaac Alfa, the senator representing Kogi East Senatorial District at the National Assembly, had moved a motion at plenary on Wednesday entitled, ‘Need to Recognise Kogi State as an Oil-Producing State’.

However, the lawmakers disagreed vehemently.

Alfa had said three oil companies — namely Shell BP (now SPDC), Elf (now Total Fina Elf) and Agip Energy — commenced oil exploration in Ibaji since 1952, precisely in Odeke, Echeno, Ihile, Anocha/Uchuchu, Omabo, Ikah, Iregwu and Ujeh, all in Ibaji of the present-day Ibaji Local Government Area of Kogi State.

He added that the companies collectively drilled 25 exploration wells, two appraisal wells and eight core drill wells in the entire Anambra Basin, out of which majority of the wells fall within Kogi State, “as these facts were made possible through a letter to the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, by the former Manager, Drilling, NPDC-NNPC, Engr. Sam A. Uchola, on 21st November, 2003″.

He noted that the exploration activities in Kogi and part of Anambra Basin were later abandoned until July 18, 2001, when the late Abubakar Audthen, the then Kogi Governor, wrote to the then Group Managing Director of NNPC to remind him of the earlier discovery of crude oil at Odeke, Echeno, and Anocha communities in Ibaji LGA.

Alfa further recalled that on July 25, 2001, a team of geo-scientist and engineers was drafted to the area to carry out a preliminary investigation on the claims by the Kogi State Government and the resuscitation of the productive core wells, leading to the granting of an oil licence now known as Oil Prospecting Licence 915 and 916, to an indigenous company.

“Orient Petroleum Resources Plc has been taking crude oil from OPL 915 since 2012 till date, and the percentages of crude oil in the OPL 915 among the three contesting states are as follows: Kogi, 53 per cent; Anambra, 23 per cent; Enugu, 17 per cent; and Edo, seven per cent,” he said.

“The Senate regrets that there has been no drilling activity from the OPL 916, which jointly belongs to Kogi, Anambra and Delta states, while Orient Petroleum has fully drilled four oil wells at OPL 915 – Wells 1, 2, 3 and 4 – with Wells 3 and 4 incontrovertibly located in Ibaji in Kogi State, accounting for 53 per cent of the crude oil.”

“There is a difference between oil-producing and oil-processing. They may be an oil-processing state but they have not contributed to the revenue of this country from oil. When they do that, they will become an oil-producing state.

“This issue of oil-producing cannot be decided on the floor by a motion; it has to be decided by contribution to the Federation Account.”

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Sahara Reporters, New York

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