- Friday, 14 September 2012
- By Elombah.com
Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State on Thursday expressed shock at the claims by some groups and States to the oil field discovered in Anambra State. He wondered why the claims started after the successful commissioning of Orient Petroleum facilities by the President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan when he visited Anambra State on the 30th
Addressing the state in a special broadcast at the governor’s lodge, Awka, the governor said the financial commitments of the state in the oil project running in billions which other states and groups laying claims have not done.
Mr Obi said: “on August 30th 2012, the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan – GCFR was in Anambra State on a one day working visit to commission the Orient Petroleum facilities among other projects.
“Since then some groups and states have been trying to lay claims to the ownership of the oil fields located in Anambra State."
President Goodluck Jonathan and the Anambra State governor, Peter Obi during the president's working visit to the state
Tracing the formation of Orient to Anambra, he said “It is pertinent to recall that Orient Petroleum Resources Plc was formed during the Government of Dr. Chinwoke Mbadinuju in 2001 and allocated oil fields domiciled in Anambra State.The Board is peopled by prominent Nigerians of Anambra extraction such as Chief Emeka Anyaoku (Chairman), Dr. Alex Ekwueme (Vice-Chairman) and Chief Arthur Mbanefo, among others. Its management is led by Engr. Emeka Nwawka.”
He added that “Though Dr. Mbadinuju did not make any direct monetary contribution, under Dr. Chris Ngige (2003-2006), Anambra State Government invested the sum of N100 Million naira (N100 Million) in the project.”
Continuing, Governor Obi remarked: “under our Government (between 2006-2009), Anambra State, with the vision and belief in the positive impact of the project on the economy of the State and country, invested, directly and indirectly, the sum of Four Billion, Four Hundred million Naira (N4.4 Billion), which bolstered the confidence of other investors to invest in the venture that made its commissioning a reality.
Whilst my predecessors never visited the site, I personally laid the foundation of the refinery. I have also visited the site severally since 2006, without any group or State interfering in its ownership as is now the case following the announcement of drilling of oil there.
It is also pertinent to note that till date, neither the grousp nor the States laying claim to the oil field have, directly or indirectly, invested a kobo in the project, while Anambra State and her people have invested several billions.
Let me at this juncture state that Anambra State believes in good neighbourliness and will, in conformity with our nature, always admire and celebrate other States which may become producers of oil or any other mineral resource in the future. However, we believe that people’s hardwork, sacrifices and investment should be allowed to match their opportunities.
Anambra State will remain a good neigbour and will continue to pray for oil to be discovered in other States so that Nigeria will emerge an economic giant in the comity of nations in the world,” Obi concluded
It will be recalled that Enugu and Kogi State governments have said that the oil well over which Anambra State was named the 10th oil producing state in the country is actually located in an area owned by the three neighboring states and not Anambra State alone.
Kogi State Deputy Governor, Mr. Yomi Awoniyi and Enugu State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Chuks Ugwoke, made this known in separate interviews with newsmen in Lokoja and Enugu respectively.
Moments after President Goodluck Jonathan opened the refinery built by Orient Petroleum and declared Anambra an oil producing state, the Kogi State, Idris Wada 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.”
Mr Wada made this claim a day after a community group issued a public notice saying that the oil deposits claimed by Anambra State are within the Odeke community of Kogi State.
The Kogi State governor said he “is doing everything humanly possible to resolve the issues surrounding the location of the oil wells with the contending states and that he is confident that “Kogi State will soon join the league of oil producing states in the country.”