The Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) has been asked to declare Enugu as an oil producing state, owing to the oil wells located in the state.

Senator Chukwuka Utazi (PDP-Enugu) made this request while speaking on Order 43 of the Senate at plenary on Tuesday in Abuja.

Mr Utazi said the three lawmakers from Enugu, Kogi and Anambra, had lobbied for the recognition of the states as oil producing states during the 8th Senate.

He said, while RMAFC had declared Kogi and Anambra as oil producing states, Enugu was left out. He said the OPL 915 and 916 oil wells in Enugu qualify it as an oil producing state.

“Senators representing the Senatorial district that have boundaries with Enugu and Anambra States have discussed this issue throughout the 8th Assembly.

“Following the frequency of our discussion, this Assembly asked the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to look into the issue to find out and settle the issue permanently within these three states so that they could enjoy the 13 per cent derivation given deposits of hydrocarbons in the area.

“So the committee that was set up by the Petroleum Upstream invited the DPR and we discussed with them extensively.

“They gave us a condition that any state that wants to become an oil producing state will need to fulfill certain conditions,” he said.

Continuing, Mr Utazi said, “I want to say that Anambra has Orient Oil Producing Company that has been there trying to extract crude oil in that basin.

“After our meeting, the DPR wrote to the Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream) on July 24, 2018 saying that the Orient Petroleum that is operating between Kogi, Anambra and Enugu has not fulfilled certain conditions.

“In view of the foregoing, the Orient Petroleum Company has no status of an oil producing company, therefore, Anambra, Kogi and Enugu cannot be classified as oil producing states for now.

“I am happy that we are inching towards resolution of the matter, at the 8th Assembly we jointly sponsored a motion here by the entire Senators, that is Isaac Alfa, Kogi East, Chukwuka Utazi, Enugu North and Stella Oduah, Anambra North,” he said.

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, in his response noted Mr Utazi’s point of order.

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