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EDITORIAL

Making Anambra win as oil- producing state

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IT IS thrilling to see that Anambra State has officially joined oil-producing states in Nigeria, following an approval granted by the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), which has ratified the attribution of 11 oil wells to the state.

   WITH the approval, Anambra is expected to henceforth, be eligible to benefit from the 13 per cent derivation fund, which minerals-producing states in Nigeria are statutorily entitled to.

   THE journey for the approval of Anambra State as oil-producing state has been a long one since at a point,  the  oil and gas under the state’s belly  were described as “Strategic Reserve”. Such a tag did not really go down well with the people but in line with the maxim, ‘the patient dog eats the fattest bone’. The oil- bearing state could not have come to Anambra at a better time.

  THE operative word here is patience and equally perseverance because  alongside the good wait there is a dogged push  in the story- the grim efforts and determination of the chief executive of Anambra State not to rest on his oars until the state joins the league of oil-producing states and earn  her desired quota from the 13 per cent allocations to oil producers .

   IN OTHER words, it has been a long-drawn-out battle to be recognised as an oil-producing state, since hitherto, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) held the view that Anambra State had not met all the conditions to be included in the league of oil-producing states.

   UPON  the receipt of the letter of approval from the RMAFC,  the elated Governor of Anambra State, Dr. Willie Obiano, recalled a Bible quotation that coincided with the grim efforts that went into  the  feat.  “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.    Henceforth, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but to all who loved his appearing”(2Timothy 4:5-8)

   IT IS interesting to acknowledge the fact and bear in mind that the RMAFAC apart from approving 11 oil wells wholly attributed to Anambra State namely; Nzam-One oil well, Alo-One oil well, Ogbu-One oil well, Ameshi One, Two, Three and Four oil wells and Enyie One, Two, Three and Four oil wells, the body  also approved the attribution of Anambra River 1, 2 and 3 oil wells to be shared on a 50 per cent basis between Anambra and Kogi States, pending the final delineation of boundaries between the two states”.

  WHAT it implies is that Anambra State will start to benefit from the 13 per cent derivation fund as soon as proceeds from the operation in the above-named oil wells start contributing to the revenue of  the federation,  according to the federal agency.

   NATIONAL LIGHT finds  a win-win situation for Anambra  in the development. Added to the positive developments in the matter is the fact that the state has just built a cargo airport in the area near the oil wells. Governor Obiano’s economic savvy in situating the very  modern and big capacity cargo airport at Umueri, near the oil wells in addition to building what could be cited as Africa’s largest international conference centre in Awka, a stone throw to the airport make the oil-producing state a big economic break for the state.

   WITH Anambra now joining the league of 10 other oil-producing states , it is important that Chief  Obiano has helped the state and ,will help his successors to have more share of  national derivation.

WHILE commending Obiano for excelling where others failed in this regard, we urge him to utilise his astute financial, managerial and accountability templates to create new windows and set up machineries to help make the oil producing status attract additional  gains to the state.

   CONSIDERING the numerous  gas deposits in the state, National Light believes  that the state has more potentials as a natural gas bearing state too. Given global trends, Anambra  should  also hasten to explore and   exploit her natural gas-endowment now before it becomes too late considering the fast pace with which the world is moving towards embracing alternative and  cleaner energy sources.

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