NASS: Senate Rejects Motion to Declare Kogi Oil Producing State

….Urges National Boundary Commission to release report on determination

Nigerian Senate has urged the Federal Government to direct the National Boundary Commission to immediately release its report on the determination of the boundaries of the communities contiguous to OPLs 915 and 916 while charging the Commission to delineate the correct boundaries, between kogi, Enugu and Anambra state. 

This directive came as the hope of Kogi State being declared an oil producing state suffered set back as the Senate rejected the prayer to urge the Federal Government to recognize and accord Kogi State the full status of an oil producing State.

The Senate decision followed a motion by Senator Isaac Alfa (PDP Kogi East) seeking need to recignise Kogi as oil producing State.

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Senator Alfa  established that oil exploration commenced in Ibaji as far back as  1952 in the villages of Odeke, Echeno,Ihile, Anocha/ Uchuchu, Omabo, Ikah, Iregwu and Ujeh, all in Ibaji community of the present day Ibaji Local Government Area of Kogi State by three oil companies namely; She’ll BP ( now SPDC), Elf ( now Total Fina Elf) and AGIF Energy.

He was worried that since granting of the Prospecting License to Orient Petroleum Resources, there has been increased tension between and among the communities that have any direct or tangible contiguity with the location of the oil wells.

In their various contributions, his colleagues called for withdrawal of the motion but Senator Alfa stood his ground, insisting he was going ahead with the motion.

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…..Senate lacks constitutional power to declare any State oil producing State

Even Senator Magnus Abe said Senate has no constitutional power to declare any State an oil producing State. Rather, he said such power is spelt out in section 162 of the 1999 Constitution as amended.

Senate Majority Leader, Senator Ahmed Lawan also said rather than seeking oil producing status for Kogi State, the National Boundary Commission should be allowed to do a thorough delineation of contiguous communities.

…….Senate president urged Alfa to withdraw motion 

Shedding light on previous efforts by the Senate, Chairman Committee on Petroleum (Upstream), Senator Tayo Alasoadura (Ondo Central) said the committee has sat twice on the issue and met once with the Boundary Commission.

Before considering the prayers, President of the Senate Bukola Saraki urged Alfa to withdraw his motion and meet with concerned Committee but he refused.

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………Anambra, Enugu and Kogi to reconcile communities at war 

However, the upper Chamber later on called governors of Anambra, Enugu and Kogi states to reconcile communities that are up in arms over plethora portions of land while calling on the communities of Ibaji, Igga and Aguleri to sheath their sword and allow peace to reign.

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