Political warfare fought by Anambra to get Oil State Status

Crude Oil in Anambra state

Oil producing states are the engine blocks and pistons of this nation Nigeria. They produce the oil which is the major export product of the Nigerian state. In this article, we will be discussing about Anambra state and its status as an oil state in the country. This isn’t the first time we are discussing oil states on this website and I will refer you to some of our articles so that you can understand the foundation of this topic. They are:

List of Oil states in Nigeria – this article will inform you about the other states where oil is drilled in the country as well as the percentage of oil gotten from those states.

Revenue-sharing formula for oil states – there’s a certain percentage worked out by the federal government with which the profits of oil sales are disbursed to the oil states. You can learn about them with the link above.

Anambra oil
Oil in Anambra state(source: www.withinnigeria.com/)

Anambra – a state surrounded by Oil States

Do you know that all except one of the states that surrounds Anambra are oil states in Nigeria?

Abia State is one of them. Imo State is another and Delta state is the third. All these states have oil in good quantities and are equally listed as oil states in Nigeria. The only state that borders with Anambra among the Igbo states which doesn’t have oil in massive quantities is Enugu state. Actually, Enugu is laying claim to some of the lands that has Good amounts of oil wells which borders the state and Anambra. One stands to reason then, could Anambra possibly not have oil deposits in considerable amounts?

Anambra has Always been Producing Oil

Yes. Many people do not know this and many more will not believe it but oil exploration has been ongoing in Anambra state for long now. We know from our past studies that the minimum requirement for any state to be listed as an oil producing state is delivery of 55,000 barrels of oil in a day denoted as 55000b per day. Now, it may surprise you to realize that Anambra presently has a capacity of 80,000 barrels per day. One can easily see that Anambra has crossed this threshold and one may wonder why Anambra has not been listed as an oil producing state yet. I’ll give my own ideas here.

Why is Anambra not yet recognized as an Oil producer?

1. Someone needs to do that at the national assembly.

Yes, someone has to bring up the topic to the hearing of the senate and get the entire national assembly to amend some laws that will include Anambra as an oil state. And such a move has to be made by someone who has the interests of Anambra at heart, best, an Anambra senator.

2. State border dispute

Land disputes between Anambra and neighboring states such as Kogi and Enugu state who has laid claims to part of the lands where the oil is found has also stagnated the development of Anambra into a full-fledged oil state. Indeed, due to land dispute wherein Kogi is claiming part of the land where oil is sited around the border area with Anambra state, there is need to settle such dispute before Anambra can be pronounced as an oil state.

The history of land dispute between Enugu and Anambra has also been there as well. We know that Enugu has been part of Anambra State in the past but now, the two states are separated and the land in the boundary area is in dispute.

3. Political reasons

Surely, there are enemies of Anambra State. Some people who would not want the state to get the full benefits of the minerals being mined therein and one of such enemies is the lopsided and partial Federal Government.

For example, Anambra is presently producing oil from which the federal government is benefiting. The federal pockets both their own due profits as well as the derivation that Anambra is naturally entitled to as an oil state. I think that this is enough motivation for a government that doesn’t care about Anambra state to hold on to the denial of oil state for the south eastern state.

How Anambra state can and will become an oil state in Nigeria

The extent to which oil derivation from export of crude Oil gotten from the state can help Anambra cannot be overstated. Anambra is a known progressive state and a little addition in terms of monthly income for the state will definitely have a huge impact in the economy of the state. But how can this status be achieved?

Again I have something to Share with us. A newly elected senator of Anambra State, senator umeh has been making good strides in this direction.

According to Sen. Umeh, the boundary crisis had been brought up at the national assembly and was referred to the senate committee on petroleum sector (upstream). Consequence of this development, the National Boundaries Commission has been involved to effect a peaceful resolution of the matter. As hoped, before long the boundaries commission will be able to resolved the dispute soon and Anambra will have access and full claims to the land which will Kickstart oil production but that is if and only if Anambra state is the rightful owner of these lands.

Which oil fields are in dispute between Anambra and Enugu/Kogi states? 

the Uzo Uwani area is one of them.

Where are large oil deposits found in Anambra state now? 

  1. Aguleri is one of such places. The other places include:
  2. Ogwu-Ikpelle and Ogwu-Aniocha communities of Ogbaru Local Government Area;
  3. Anaku, Umerum and Omor communities in Ayamelum Local Government Area;
  4. Abagana in Njikoka Local Government Area
  5. and Ifitedunu, Ukpo and Umunnachi in Dunukofia Local Government Area
  6. and Okija in Ihiala Local Government Area.

According to: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2018/05/hoscon-uncovers-50-oil-wells-12-anambra-communities/

This goes to mean that, once the land disputes have been resolved, Anambra can be declared as an oil state with full entitlements. The Federal government of Nigeria according to a news report by Vanguard has previously confirmed the status of Anambra State as an oil state.

Oil Refineries in Anambra state

Following the naming of Anambra State as an oil state, the federal government has promised to cite an oil refinery in the state. This is a promise made to other oil states as well except one of them. The Host Communities of Nigeria Producing Oil and Gas, HOSCOM has also reached an agreement with the state government and the refinery would cost about $140m.

Orient Petroleum Refinery, OPR, is the name of the refinery built by the Anambra State Government and the project was started by the Chinwoke Mbadinuju administration. Chinwoke Mbadinuju was the first governor of Anambra State. On the issue of the functionality and reliability of this refinery, little is known to me at the moment.

How is The future of oil in Anambra?

Indeed, it’s bleak given there are many factors that are against the establishment of the state among its oil peers but the hope first lies in God who will support the senators and all concerned to work hard and restore the state’s titles and entitlement.

Also, a friendly government will go a long way to facilitate the climb to the desired status  And the administration of Mohammad Buhari is simply unwilling. On this note, it seems that a government of Atiku Abubakar whose vice president will be Peter Obi, a former governor of the state will be more willing to develop the oil sector in Anambra state. But this will only happen if Atiku wins the upcoming presidential election in February.

Author: Precious Mmeso

Am Precious and I believe in progress, development and a better living for everyone. Beyond believing, I have resolved to commit my energy and resources towards this Vision knowing fully well that one day, we will get there.

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