A representative group that agitates for better resource control rights for oil producing communities in Nigeria, has decried the continued exclusion of Anambra State from oil derivation funds.
The group, Host Communities of Nigeria (Oil and Gas Producing Communities), Hostcom have demanded an explanation of the whereabouts of the crude oil drilled from the recently discovered wells in Anambra State.
They have insisted that the state is overdue for the 13 per cent oil derivation funds from the federation account.
National chairman of Hostcom, Dr Mike Emuh, while briefing journalists in Awka, expressed bitterness over the issue.
“If they say the oil in Anambra is not in commercial quantity, then they should tell us what has been happening to the quantity drilled from Anambra. Even if it is one drum, we demand to know where it goes.
The group asked some pointed questions.
“Have they allocated Anambra oil wells to some powerful individuals? If at all oil is being drilled from Anambra, what happens to the money they sell from it?
Emuh pointed to Lagos which he said was already enjoying 13%derivation after recently discovered oil, wondering why Anambra’s case should be different.
“I tell you, Anambra is long overdue for 13 per cent derivative paid to all oil producing states. Even Lagos where oil was discovered just the other day is now enjoying 13 per cent derivative, so why shouldn’t Anambra?”
OIL IN ANAMBRA
It should be noted that the existence of oil in Anambra State has been a known fact for decades.
But the state has never really benefited financially from it. This is in spite of the fact of considerable drilling by oil companies in the state.
Policy makers have always given reasons for the exclusion of Anambra from enjoying oil derivation.
But more and more people are beginning to say that those reasons don’t hold any water.
Policy makers believe that including states like Anambra and Lagos in the list of states that enjoy 13% derivation could potentially boost their local economies, leading to a national knock-on effect.