The Federal Government declared Anambra State the 10th oil bearing state in the country and the decision has catapulted Anambra into the league of oil-producing states like Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Rivers, Bayelsa, Abia, Imo, Ondo, Delta and Edo. With the development, the state will start getting extra revenue from the 13 per cent derivation fund as soon as oil produced from the state starts contributing to the federation account.
This was sequel to the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission’s approval of Obiano’s request for due share of revenue accruing to the nation from oil and gas production activities in Anambra State with neighboring states such as Kogi and Enugu states which were also laying claims to the oil. A host of Kogi groups and leaders were previously spoiling for war, claiming that the Anambra Well (1), which currently feeds the Orient refinery in Anambra, is on Odeke land in Ibaji local government area of Kogi State. A similar claim also came from Enugu State earlier on.
It also approved the attribution of Anambra River One, Two and Three oil wells, to be shared on 50-50 per cent basis between Anambra and Kogi states, pending the final delineation of boundaries of the two states.
The Anambra basin, where the oil is being explored encompasses communities in Anambra, Kogi, Enugu and Delta states. Since 1927, tension has always brewed among the communities around the borders following the boundary demarcation between Northern and Eastern regions. There was a serious bloodbath between the people of Aguleri in Anambra and those of Ibaji (Kogi) in 1994. There was also a protracted war between the Aguleri and Umuleri people of Anambra in the late 90s.
Four of the wells, according to Orient Petroleum, are said to be currently at exploration stage in the area. While Orient said the bulk of the deposit are in Anambra State, Committee on Oil and Gas Exploration in Ibaji land contended that the area the company was referring to as part of Anambra, was indeed in Kogi State.
The 11 oil wells attributed to Anambra State are Nzam-One oil well, Alo-One oil well and Ogbu-One oil well.
Others are Ameshi One, Two, Three and Four oil wells, as well as Enyie One, Two, Three and Four oil wells.
The Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Commission’s approval was made at its 139th plenary held on July 27.
The letter said the 13 per cent derivation will take effect when the revenue from the operations of the oil wells starts contributing to the federation account.