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BREAKING NEWS: Policy| Buhari declares Anambra oil-bearing state

 _By Chuka Nnabuife| National Light_ 

PRESIDENT of the Federal Government of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, affirmed Anambra State's oil-producing status.

The president’s declaration was communicated to the governor of Anambra State, Dr. Willie Obiano in a letter signed by Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari.

The document also revealed that "the decision has been conveyed to the Minister of State in the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Chief Timepre Sylva; the chairman of the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission, Engineer Elias Mbam; and the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Hajia Zainab Ahmed, for immediate action."

Through the executive memoranda, President Buhari directed the agencies of federal government that are relevant in petroleum matters as well as budgeting and appropriation to acknowledge and treat Anambra as one of the less than a dozen states that produce Nigeria's main natural resource and economic mainstay, petroleum.

A release from Chief Adinuba on the development, entitled,

'Buhari Approves Anambra’s Status as Petroleum-bearing State' captured the warm reception which President Buhari's memo generated in Anambra State Government House, Awka.

Adinuba explained what the development brings to the state's economy this: "With the declaration, Anambra State is henceforth automatically entitled to 13% of the sale of petroleum resources from 11 oil wells in its territory, namely, Nzam-1, Alo-1, Ameshi-1, 2, and 3, and Enyie-1, 2 , 3 and 4."

The matter equally brought joy in Awka given the circumstances around it too.

On Tuesday, August 24, 2021, Gov. Obiano, whose professional career as an accountant, auditor and administrator had spanned several sectors of the oil and gas industry, had written the President on Anambra State's oil-producing status. 

Obiano requested President Buhari to officially declare the state both oil and gas-bearing.

 Upon receipt of the heartwarming message from Aso Rock, Chief Obiano said: “The president’s decision is wise and swift”, Adinuba disclosed.

While making the declaration, Buhari used the opportunity to clear the air on oil wells on the borders of Anambra State. He approved the attribution of Okpo-1 oil well to Edo State and the Iji-1 oil well to Delta State and Oda River-1 oil well to Edo State.

This clears issues of agitations in such areas.

 The Anambra State Information commissioner's release expoused thusly, citing the governor:

“It has been a tough, relentless and strategic battle which our administration waged on behalf of the people of Anambra State in the last two years when we received intelligence reports that Sterling Oil Exploration and Energy Producing Company of India has not only illegally and surreptitiously been producing oil since 2014 in the twin towns of Ogwuaniocha and Ogwuikpele in Ogbaru Local Government Area without conducting the statutory environmental and social impact assessment but also attributing the petroleum resources produced from these places to Delta State.

“Despite all we did to resolve the matter amicably with the Indian firm, it refused to cooperate which necessitated us to drag them to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, the Department of Petroleum Resources which regulates the petroleum industry, the office of the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation and the Federal Ministry of the Environment”.

While thanking the Anambra people from different walks of life for their “massive and strategic support during the struggle to give Anambra State its due in oil and gas production in the country, Chief Obiano identified some individuals from the state for their frontline roles in the campaign.

Among them are Dr Charles Ofoegbu, a geophysics professor; Engineer Frank Edozie who used to work with the Department of Petroleum Resources; Professor Solo Chukwulobelu who is the Secretary to the State Government; Dr Theresa Obiekezie, the Commissioner for Youth and Creative Economy who is also a geophysics professor; Mrs Patricia Igwebuike, the Special Adviser to the Governor of Legal Matters and Petroleum Resources; as well as Mr Arinze Awogu, the Transition Committee chairman of Ogbaru Local Government Area.

“These are great patriots, highly knowledgeable and first-class professionals, courageous”, the governor said.


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