Senate intervenes as oil well tears 3 states apart

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Senators at plenary

The renewed agitation over ownership of oil wells being claimed by Kogi, Anambra and Enugu will soon be a thing of past as Senate has mandated its Committee on Petroleum (Upstream) to investigate the matter and report back to it.

Sen. Chukwuka Utazi (Enugu-PDP) at plenary on Thursday raised a Point-of-Order on the matter seeking the intervention of the Upper Chamber to stem brewing crisis among the three states laying claim to the oil wells.

Referring to Order 43, the lawmaker alleged that Anambra Government had used one of its appointees, Mr Prince Emu, to grant an interview, stating that Anambra was an oil-producing state.

Utazi said that the Federal Government realised that it was an error for former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration to refer to Anambra as oil-producing state and withdrew the status.

According to him, withdrawing the status from Anambra is based on the fact that the state has not been confirmed as oil-producing.

Utazi said: “President and distinguished colleagues, the oil producing status on Anambra state has since been withdrawn.

“This is already brewing violence among communities laying claim to the oil wells.

“We know what we did in the past to restore peace among those warring communities and election period is around the corner and we do not want any crisis.’’

In his contribution, Sen. Andy Uba (Anambra-APC) insisted that Anambra was an oil producing state, saying “what my colleague, Utazi, is saying is not correct.

“They said any state that produces 120,000 barrels of oil per day is qualified as an oil-producing state and that is why Anambra was conferred with that status.’’

In his remarks, President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, referred the matter to the Committee on Petroleum (Upstream) with an order to turn in its report in two weeks.