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Kogi Seeks Recognition as Oil-producing State, Rejected by Senate

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The Senate has opposed a motion to recognise  Kogi State as an oil-producing state.

During a plenary session on  Wednesday, the lawmaker representing Kogi East Senatorial District, Senator Isaac Alfa, moved the motion titled, ‘Need to Recognise Kogi State as an Oil-Producing State’.

Alfa said Shell BP (now SPDC), Elf (now Total Fina Elf) and Agip Energy commenced oil exploration  in   1952  in Odeke, Echeno, Ihile, Anocha/Uchuchu, Omabo, Ikah, Iregwu and Ujeh, all in Ibaji of the present day Ibaji Local Government Area of Kogi State.

He  recalled that the companies collectively drilled 25 exploration wells, two appraisal wells and eight core drill wells in  Anambra Basin, with    the majority of the wells in Kogi State.

He said, “These facts were made possible through a letter to the President by the former Manager, Drilling, NPDC-NNPC,  Sam A. Uchola, on  November 21, 2003.”

Alfa said oil  exploration  in Kogi was abandoned until July 18, 2001 when a former governor of the state, Abubakar Audu, wrote to then-Group Managing Director of  the NNPC to remind him of the discovery of crude oil at Odeke, Echeno and Anocha.

The senator said, “Orient Petroleum Resources Plc has been taking crude oil from OPL 915 since 2012 and the percentage of crude oil in the OPL 915 among the three contesting states is  Kogi, 53 per cent; Anambra, 23 per cent; Enugu, 17 per cent; and Edo, seven per cent.

“The Senate regrets that there has been no drilling activity from the OPL 916, which jointly belongs to Kogi, Anambra and Delta states, while Orient Petroleum has fully drilled four oil wells at OPL 915 – Wells 1, 2, 3 and 4,  with Wells 3 and 4 incontrovertibly located in Ibaji in Kogi State, accounting for 53 per cent of the crude oil.”

Considering the motion, the lawmakers overwhelmingly opposed the prayer calling  on the Senate to urge the Federal Government to declare Kogi as oil-producing state “with all the benefits and privileges”.

However, the legislators  unanimously approved the prayer  urging  Kogi, Anambra and Enugu states to resolve their border  disputes.

They also  urged  the FG 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”.

Also granted was the prayer urging the people of Ibaji, Igga and Aguleri communities in  Kogi, Enugu and Anambra states, to “sheathe their swords and allow peace to reign while the National Boundary Commission delineates the correct boundaries”.

Senator Chukwuka Utazi recalled that  some  lawmakers had sponsored a similar motion.

Senator Magnus Abe stated that the Senate had no power to declare any state  an oil-producing state, citing Section 162 of the constitution.

Abe said, “In this entire motion, my colleague has failed to tell the people how much has been paid into the federation account from Kogi State that will entitle them to 13 per cent (derivation benefit). Without that, a declaration by the Senate won’t entitle them to anything.

“There is a big difference between oil-producing and oil-processing. They may be an oil-processing state but they have not contributed to the revenue of this country from oil. When they do that, they will become an oil-producing state.”

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FG, S’South Govs, Leaders Set to Meet in Rivers Tuesday

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A delegation from the Federal Government is expected to meet with Governors and leaders of the South-South geo-political zone in Government House, Port Harcourt today (Tuesday).

The Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, is expected to lead the presidential delegation.

A Government House source in Port Harcourt, who confirmed the meeting to our correspondent, said Gambari is on his way to Port Harcourt.

The rescheduled meeting is coming on the heels of the botched stakeholders’ forum, which angered the Southern Governor, during which the South-South Governors’ Forum, demanded an apology from the presidency.

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Makinde Presents N266.6bn 2021 Budget to Assembly

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The Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, on Monday presented a budget of N266.6bn as the 2021 budget to the state Assembly.

While presenting the budget tagged, ‘Budget of continued consolidation’ Makinde announced that 53.2 per cent of the total budget was being proposed for capital expenditure.

He said, “The 2021 budget is N12bn above the 2020 budget and this is to further drive a consolidation effort that we started this year.

“We were able to achieve 50.2 per cent of the 2020 budget implementation and you will agree with me that it was due to causes beyond our control like the COVID-19 pandemic and other crisis that bedevilled the nation and the world at large.”

Makinde further explained that the recurrent expenditure is N136, 262,990 while the capital expenditure is N130. 381bn.

According to him, 21 per cent of the budget, amounting to N56.348 bn, is allocated to education while infrastructure is to gulp N46bn, representing 17.2per cent of the budget.

For health, a total of N13.2bn, representing 4.9per cent of the budget was set aside for the establishment of primary health centers across 351 wards in the state.

Makinde lauded the state lawmakers for their cooperation.

“So, it is pertinent that we appreciate the members of the state House of Assembly for their support.”

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Amuwo Odofin LG Boss, Buraimoh Under Attack over FESTAC Traffic Crisis

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Residents, motorists and commuters in Festac Town, the festival town in Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area of Lagos, have berated the chairman of the council, Engr. Valentine Buraimoh, over the deplorable state of the roads in the area that has caused them untold hardships every day.

Of major concern is the 2nd Avenue Road, a major gateway to the community which is bogged down by heavy traffic jam on a daily basis.

Though the council boss in a recent report claimed that the congestion was the barricade placed on 2nd Avenue Road by the Area E Police Command, residents however, believe that the gridlock is as a result of insensitivity and neglect of the major roads by the LG Boss especially in fixing the gaping potholes which have become more deplorable over the years due to lack of maintenance and also road diversion to educate motorists on alternative roots to decongest that root. Also the refusal of the local government council to work with other state agency like LASMA because Engr. Valentine Buraimoh is noted to be hostile on his dealings with them.

The Area E Command, like most other police stations in Lagos had barricaded a lane on the access dualize road in front of their offices for fear of another possible attack by hoodlums who had hijacked the #EndSARS protests and resent for fear of another attack by commercial motorcycle operators (Okada riders) who had violently protested and forcefully confronted the Lagos State environmental taskforce who came to enforce the law of Lagos State on restriction of commercial motorcycles from the Oshodi Apapa expressway

One of the residents, Pastor Omotore Folorunsho, said: “Please, don’t allow anyone to deceive you, the barricade on the 2nd Avenue Road has nothing to do with the heavy traffic jam. If the roads are good, their would have been no traffic. All the alternative roads in Festac Town are terribly bad. You can come and investigate it your self. We call on the Federal and State Government to open a panel of enquiry to investigate what the local government chairman has been doing with the Federal and State allocation with the internally generated revenue. All services are down in the local government. The health centers are in a state of disrepair. Many primary schools are also in a very bad sharp. We use to have road sweepers by previous administration but does days are history. The drainages are all blocked and the environment is totally very dirty. A typical example are the entrance gates to Festac Town. Go to first , second and third gates, you will cry for Festac Town. All the Chairman of Amuwo Odofin Local Government does is collect the monthly allocation and loot the money. We call on EFCC to come and investigate this local government.

“For now, the action of the police is the best because if hoodlums are allowed to attack the police station, and loot the weapons, they would use the weapons they steal to attack residents and motorists of this local government.

“As far as I am concerned, we don’t have a local government council chairman. The council chairman, Engr. Buraimoh, has failed. What has he used all the allocations he has received so far to do? I can tell you, nothing! No meaningful development.”

Another resident, Femi Adeyinka, who has lived in the neighbourhood for over 30 years, said the roads have remained the same over 5 years, without any effort by the local government to improve them.

“For over five years now, the state of roads has been so deplorable especially in Festac Town. Residents find it hard to go out of their homes with ease. It is much terrible during the raining season.

“If you go to other communities, you would find better roads and other infrastructures because residence have taking their faith into their own hands by repairing and constructing their roads with their own money without any help from the local government, but Festac Town is still in a very bad condition.

“At every available opportunity, we made appeals to the local government chairman Engr. Valentine Buraimoh, to fix all the bad roads but he refused to respond and when he tries to respond, he does so with bad road repair. We want the council to come and repair the roads using competent contractors,” he said.

Corroborating the residents, Adewumi Ogunsina, one of the councillors representing Ward K in the council, berated the council chairman, Engr. Valentine Buraimoh, stressing that he was only hiding under the cover as he has refused to address the real challenge confronting the people in the local government.

Hon. Ogunsina said: “Since Engr. Buruiamoh assumed office in 2017, the people of Amuwo Odofin Local government have continued to languish in pain because the council chairman doesn’t care about the people or the community but only on how to enrich himself.

“On the barricade on the 2nd Avenue Road, Engr. Buraimoh is only lying and using that as cover-up. Do you know that there are over six alternative roads that can take you away from that part of 2nd Avenue infront of the Area E command and Festac Police Station into and out of Festac town but people avoid those places because they are not motorable? The roads are so bad and the chairman has refused to fix them.

“Just last week, there was even an attempt by okada riders at 2nd Rainbow around the Jakande Low cost Housing Estate to burn down the Area E Police command and Festac Police Station, so what do you expect the police to do? Should they fold their hands and allow their command be looted and set on fire?

The problem is not the police but the deplorable state of roads in the local government alongside the drainages which the council chairman has refused to desilt for a long time. Go and long at the drainages, you will see that they are all blocked.

“There are supervisors in the local government executive council, do you know that the chairman has not held the weekly executive meeting for over 10 months

We have seven councillors in the council, do you know that the chairman doesn’t meet with us to discuss development of the area or even to get approval?

It will shock you to know that the Chairman takes decisions alone and simply because I challenge his actions, he decided to side-line me totally and align with the other six as he spends the money of the local government at his own free will.

He runs the council like his private company because he believes that he is untouchable.

I once again appeal to the Lagos State House of Assembly to institute a panel of enquiry to investigate the criminality and maladministration in Amuwo Odofin Local Government

Efforts to reach Engr. Buraimoh for his reactions to the development proved futile as calls and text messages placed to his mobile phone were not responded to as at press time.

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