Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) senator representing Enugu north senatorial district, Chukwuka Utazi has called on the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAC) to declare Enugu as an oil producing state.
This call was made by PDP senator, Utazi during a plenary session at the senate in Abuja on Tuesday.
The senator said that three lawmakers from Enugu, Kogi and Anambra had lobbied for recognition to be among oil producing states during the 8th senate.
According to him, RMAFC had declared Kogi and Anambra as oil producing states, however, exempting Enugu despite two oil wells — oil prospecting licence (OPL) 915 and 916 — located in the state.
“Senators representing the Senatorial district that have a boundary with Enugu and Anambra States have discussed this issue throughout the 8th Assembly,” Utazi said.
“Following the frequency of our discussion, this Assembly asked the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR )to look into the issue to find out and settle the issue permanently within these three states so that they could enjoy the 13 percent derivation given deposits of hydrocarbon in the area.
“So the committee that was set up by the Petroleum Upstream invited the DPR and we discussed with them extensively.
“They gave us a condition that any state that wants to become an oil producing state will need to fulfil certain conditions.
“I want to say that Anambra has Orient Oil Producing Company that has been there trying to extract crude oil in that basin.
“After our meeting, the DPR wrote to the Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream) on July 24, 2018, saying that the Orient Petroleum that is operating between Kogi, Anambra and Enugu has not fulfilled certain conditions.
“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 oil producing states for now.
“I’m happy that we are inching towards resolution of the matter at the 8th Assembly. We jointly sponsored a motion here the entire Senators, that is Isaac Alfa, Kogi East; Chukwuka Utazi, Enugu North; and Stella Oduah, Anambra North.”
In response to Utazi’s request, Ahmad Lawan, senate president, noted the senator’s point of order.
Recall that the RMAFC had approved the attribution of 11 oil wells wholly to Anambra, making the state eligible for the 13 percent derivation fund.
A week after, the revenue commission approved the attribution of Oda River oil well-1 wholly to Kogi, also making the state eligible for the 13 percent derivation fund.