Kogi State Seeks Inclusion On Oil Producing States’ List

Kogi, House of assemblyKogi State House of Assembly has called on President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to accord Kogi State its right status as an oil producing state.

The lawmakers are making the request following the exploration of oil in Echeno and Udeke all in Ibaji Local Government Area of the state.

The House statement followed the adoption of Honourable John Abah’s motion appealing to the state government to expedite action in ensuring the declaration of Kogi State as an oil producing state.

Honourable Abah’s motion is coming after a youth group in the state under the aegis of Concerned Youth Group throw their support to the Assembly’s resolution.

The group in a statement by its state coordinator, Oladele Niyi, in Lokoja said that giving the state an oil producing status would end the hostility between Anambra and Kogi State.

They believe that the only thing that could end the killing of innocent lives destruction of property in the area was the declaration of Kogi State by the Federal Government of Nigeria as an oil producing state.

According to the legislator’s motion ”late Prince Abubakar Audu, the former Governor of Kogi State on July 18, 2001 conveyed a letter to the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), notifying the corporation of discovery of crude oil in Ibaji Local Government Area of the State”.

In the motion the lawmakers made a request that the corporation should carry out a thorough investigation to determine the extent of the deposit, even though the preliminary investigation carried out by the NNPC was not published.

The lawmaker further said that it was no longer in doubt that there is oil deposit in Ibaji Local Government Area.

The motion read: “Consequently upon this, it may interest this august assembly to know that Orient Petroleum Resources Limited made three offers to Kogi State government when the company arrived on the scene for oil exploration.

“The details are;

“1. That the government of Kogi State should appoint a liaison to be a link between the government and the company.
“2. That the government of Kogi State should allocate a land to the company to use as its deport.
“3. That the government of Kogi State should buy a share of at least 5,000,000,000 Naira in the company.

Even though the state government has not taken up the shares, the company confirmed in its official website that Kogi State government had granted the other two requests of appointment of liaison officer and allocation of land.

All these point to the fact that the area in dispute belong to Kogi State.

The quality of crude being lifted according to the official website of the Orient Petroleum Resources plc from these wells is about 33,000 barrels per day.

Apart from this, it is now abundantly obvious that as the company continues the exploration activities in Ibaji and other parts of Kogi State like Alade in Igalamela/Odolu Local Government Area, more oil sites are being discovered.

On his part, the paramount ruler of Ibaji land His Royal Highness John Egwuemi appealed to the Federal Government to resolve all dispute around oil wells in Ibaji Local Government Area.

He explained that the Anambra basin was a mere geographical, adding that the oil wells belong to Kogi State.

The traditional ruler also urged the state government to resolve boundary issues being handled by the National Boundary Adjustment Commission for quite sometimes now.

Over 10,000 people displaced in Kogi, Benue flood-NEMA

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has deployed relief materials to the camps where over 10,000 Internally Displaced People (IDPs) from Kogi and Benue states are taking refuge after they were sacked from their homes with the ravaging flood across north central region of Nigeria.

A technical team from the agency visited areas devastated by the floods along the banks of Rivers Benue and Niger and their tributaries in states over the weekend to assess the damage and identify suitable intervention required to address the problem.

According to the team, most of the affected areas remained flooded with most of the displaced persons resorting to taking shelter in four camps.

The flood in Benue state is said to affect the communities in Makurdi, the state capital, along the river belt, while about nine local government areas were affected in Kogi State, with Ibaji Local Government Area almost submerged.

Other local government areas affected as Bassa, Ofu, Kogi, Omala, Ajaokuta, Ankpa, Igalamela and Lokoja, where property, including hotels, residential buildings, offices and fishing communities along the confluence of Rivers Benue and Niger have all been submerged.

NEMA’s Director of Planning, Research and Forecasting, Charles Agbo, during a meeting with  Kogi State governor, Wada Idris, warned of prolonged flooding as more water would still be released from Lagdo Dam in Cameroon and Kainji Dam with the intensifying rains.

He also urged the state government to enforce the standard regulation on urban planning and development as well as permanently relocate communities in the flood plains to safer locations.

“Even after the flood, most of the submerged houses may become too weak and no longer be safe for habitation, in addition to the potential health hazards from the disaster,” he warned.

“Therefore, the states governments must to rise up to their responsibilities to the affected communities as the Federal Government, through NEMA, would provide necessary support the displaced persons.”

The governor expressed concern of the Federal Government towards the flood situation and requested support to reinforce the efforts by the state government to assist the displaced persons, while urging NEMA and other relevant organizations to identify measures to mitigate future occurrence of the flood.