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Wednesday, 17 December 2014

INSIDE THE SENATE: Senate Rejects Bill To Recognize Anambra State As Oil Producing State in Nigeria

The Senate yesterday rejected a bill seeking to amend the Niger Delta Development Commission Act Cap 86 laws of Nigeria in order to recognise and include Anambra as an oil-producing state. The sponsor of the bill, Senator Andy Uba, who led the debate on the proposal anchored his decision on the declaration by President Goodluck Jonathan, that Anambra had joined the league of oil-producing states in the country when he visited the state this year. He argued that with Jonathan’s pronouncement, Anambra had since “joined the oil bearing states of Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Imo,
Edo, Abia and Ondo states, as home to the nation’s oil installations and a rich wet land.”
Andy said:

“These communities account for 93 per cent of the country’s export earnings and provide the economic lifeline that sustains the Nigerian state and as a result of which this amendment is being sought for Anambra to be part and parcel of the NDDC.”

He pointed out that the integration of Anambra as part of the NDDC states was necessary to avoid the violent conflicts that accompanied all oil exploration activities which include environmental degradation.

The legislator further noted that the objective of the bill was also to ensure the socio-economic development of the host communities where oil installations are located and the general development of the state.

Senators who made contributions to the bill noted that a mere pronouncement from Jonathan, which was not based on any empirical fact, was not enough to make Anambra an oil-producing state. Senator Attai Ali said he was against the bill because the issue of delineation between Kogi, Anambra and Enugu states which shared common boundaries with the oil installation was still ongoing.

Also Senator Ayogu Eze expressed opposition to the bill, explaining that Jonathan had admitted that he made the pronouncement ascribed to him by Uba in a haste. According to him, Jonathan’s statement degenerated into crisis between the states that shared common boundaries, where the facility was located which forced him to set up a committee led by Vice- President Namadi Sambo to resolve the problem.

Senate President David Mark supported the views of his colleagues and noted that since the issue was not only technical, but also controversial, it was better to suspend further action on the bill, pending the report of the presidential committee.

The senators voted in support of the motion to suspend further action on the bill pending the outcome of the presidential committee on the issue, thereby compelling the sponsor to withdraw the bill.
Credit: New Telegraph NG

9 mins ·
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