Senator kicks against non-recognition of Enugu as oil producing state




 
Senator Chukwuka Utazi (PDP Enugu North), complained bitterly on the floor of the Senate Tuesday on non-recognition of Enugu as an oil producing state by the federal government despite confirmation of existence of two oil wells (OPL 915 and OPL 916) in the State by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR).
Utazi’s complaint was precipitated by recent recognition of Kogi and Aambra as Oil Producing States by the  Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), penultimate week.
RMAFC had in separate letters to governments of Anambra and Kogi State , declared the states as oil producing on account of confirmation of oil wells found in the states.
Kicking against exclusion of Enugu state, Senator Utazi who rose through  Order 43 of the Senate standing rule,  recalled that in the 8th National Assembly, confirmation of oil wells in Enugu, Anambra and Kogi states, were made by DPR.
The lawmaker emphasize that Enugu State should be recognized temporarily so that the three states can benefit from the 13% derivation in the interest of peace.
He said :“Following the frequency of our discussion in the 8th National  Assembly,   the Department of Petroleum Resources was directed to look into the issue by a committee set up then.
“After its findings, the Department of Petroleum Resources wrote to the Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream) on 24th July, 2018  that the Orient Petroleum that is operating between Kogi, Anambra and Enugu has not fulfill certain conditions and which was mentioned here clearly.
“In view of the foregoing, the Orient Petroleum Company has no status of an oil producing company, therefore, Anambra, Kogi and Enugu cannot be classified as an Oil Producing States then.
“But Senators from the three states agreed that since the National Boundary Commission was not able to solve the  problem, the three affected States should in the interim enjoy the 13% derivation till when the problem would be solved.
“My problem now is that the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) has gone ahead to recognise Kogi, and Anambra. What is left now is Enugu  tate. Because from the letter they have written, OPL 915 and 916 are in our area.
“I want to put on record here that since the RMAFC has accorded recognition to our our neighbours, Kogi and Anambra, they should extend same to Enugu State, so that there will be peace”.

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