Gov Wada Stake Claims to Oil Wells in Anambra, Says Kogi Will Soon Join the League of Oil Producing State
Just as president Goodluck Jonathan inaugurated the first oil refinery built by Orient Petroleum in Aguleri Otu in Anambra state and declared the state an oil producing state yesterday, Kogi state governor, Capt Idris Wada declared that the state will soon join the league of oil producing state with the claim that the oil well that will serve the refinery in Anambra state is actually located in Kogi state.
Wada according to the statement issued from the office of his deputy, Yomi Awoniyi said “Kogi will be a major stake holder in the refinery, considering the fact the oil wells that will service the refinery are in Odeke Community in Ibaji Local Government Area of the state.”
“We are doing everything humanly possible to resolve the issues surrounding the location of the oil wells with the contending states.”
“Kogi State will soon join the league of oil producing states in the country.”
Wada’s declaration came barely a day after a group called Ibaji Development Association (IDA) warned that the oil wells OPL 915 and 916 are located in Kogi and not Anambra State as claimed by Orient Petroleum which is carrying out exploration in the area.
The group in a message to President Jonathan ahead of his visit to the area yesterday said “the area where the current productive oil well OPL 915 and 916 is located is in Odeke community in Ibaji Local Government Area of Kogi state and not in Anambra State.”
“Oil exploration activities leading to the successful access to crude oil were carried out in Kogi state within Odeke, Echeno, Ehile, Anocha and Omabo communities by Orient Petroleum Plc. Workers of this company actually rented houses in these communities as quarters for their staff for the final phase 1 of oil well production testing of these wells. Phase 2 is due at the end of September 2012 in Uchuchu, Ikah, Iregwu and Ujeh also within Ibaji local government area of Kogi state,” the group said.
The group said Ibaji area was in conflict with the people of Agulere and Otuocha in Anambra State over ownership of the oil wells since 1994 which led to loss of lives and property.
The association called on President Jonathan to officially declare Kogi as an oil producing state saying “our non-resistant stance should not be misconstrued to mean cowardice, even in the face of glaring provocation from Anambra state, whose communities are already head over heels over the benefits of the oil wells that do not belong to them.”
But speaking yesterday at the ceremony to kick-start his company’s oil refinery in Anambra State, Orient Petroleum chairman Chief Emeka Anyaoku said the controversy over ownership of the oil deposits has been resolved and that the ‘bulk’ of the deposits are within Anambra territory.
He however added that any state where oil was found and drilled by Orient Petroleum would be accorded due recognition.
“There was misconception that the oil well was not entirely in Anambra, that has been resolved through the map of Nigeria. Let me quickly state that the two oil blocks encompassed parts of Enugu, Kogi, Delta and Edo states but bulk of it is in Anambra,” Anyaoku said.
He said in addition to the private shareholders, other bodies that have shares in the company include Anambra, Rivers, Kogi and the 21 local government areas of the state.
Anyaoku said crude refining by the company would commence by next year, and that when the refining facility was completed about 20,000 litres of crude would be refined daily.
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