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Senate rejects recognition of Kogi as oil state

The Senate yesterday rejected an attempt to make the Federal Government declare Kogi as an oil producing state with all benefits and privileges. The Senate…

The Senate yesterday rejected an attempt to make the Federal Government declare Kogi as an oil producing state with all benefits and privileges.

The Senate urged the governors of Anambra, Enugu and Kogi states to resolve the crises among the various communities in their borders.

Senators also urged the Federal Government to direct the National Boundary Commission to immediately release its report on the determination of the boundaries of the communities continuous to OPLs 915 and 916.

Adopting some prayers of a motion sponsored by Sen Isaac Alfa (PDP, Kogi), the Senate also urged the people of Ibaji, Igga and Aguleri in Kogi, Enugu and Anambra states to sheathe their swords and allow peace to reign while the boundary commission delineates the correct boundaries.

The lawmakers further urged the Federal Government to ensure that the displaced communities in the disputed areas were allowed to return to their ancestral homes and compensated for their loss due to the incessant crises in the areas.

Members of the Red Chamber equally directed the committees on petroleum (downstream), national security and intelligence to ensure compliance with the resolutions.

Sen Alfa, while leading the debate on his motion, said there have been crises among communities in the boundaries of the three states as a result of the oil discovered in parts of Kogi State.

He said following the granting of an Oil Prospecting Licence (OPL) 915 and 916, to an indigenous company known as Orient Petroleum, the coy has been taking oil from OPL 915 since 2012, noting that Kogi accounts for 53 percent, Anambra 23 percent, Enugu 17 percent and Edo 7 percent.

He said however that there has been no drilling activity in OPL 916, “which jointly belongs to Kogi, Anambra and Delta states, while Orient Petroleum has fully drilled 4 oil wells” all of which he said belong to Kogi State.

Alfa’s first prayer in the motion was for the Senate to urge the Federal Government to declare Kogi as an oil producing state, but majority of the senators kicked against it.

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