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EDITORIAL

Making Anambra win as oil-producing state

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IT IS exhilarating 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, the South-eastern state 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 discovered oil and gas were described as “Strategic Reserve”. It did not really go down well with the people but as Igbo saying has it, “the patient dog eats the fattest bone”.

  THE operative word here is “patience” and equally perseverance because of 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 earning the 13 per cent addition to the monthly statutory allocations to beef up the monthly revenues for socio-economic growth and development.

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

   GOVERNOR Willie Obiano, who was overwhelmed with the receipt of the letter of approval from the Revenue and Mobilisation and Fiscal Commission [RMAFC], recalled a Bible quotation that coincided with the grim efforts and political cum economic savvy that went to achieve the no mean feat by him and some officials and critical stakeholders in the state, saying: “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 known as 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, it  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 revenue into the federation account, according to the federal agency.

   NATIONAL LIGHT could asseverate that the position of the state is a win-win situation because of Governor Obiano’s economic savvy in situating the most modern and largest international and cargo airport in 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.

   WITH Anambra now joining the league of 10 other oil-producing states that are statutorily entitled to the derivation fund, in addition to sitting in the board, it is important to note that this great feat, recently achieved by Governor Obiano, will help his successors to have more hold on 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 positive gains to the state.

   CONSIDERING the numerous  gas deposits in the state, National Light believes  that the state has more potentials as a national gas bearing state which the  present government should  also be exploited now before it becomes too late considering the fast pace with which the world is moving towards embracing alternative cleaner energy sources.

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