By Vincent Ujumadu & Nwabueze Okonkwo.
ONITSHA—THE Federal Government has at last recognised Anambra as one of the oil producing states in the federation. National chairman of Host Communities Producing Oil and Gas, HOSCON, Prince Mike Emuh who disclosed this yesterday at Anambra State Traditional Rulers’ House, Government House, Awka, while briefing traditional rulers in the state, said the Federal Government had also approved 10 modular refineries in all the 11 oil producing states in the country out of which one of the refineries would be cited in Anambra.
Gov Willie Obiano Emuh further told the traditional rulers that the Federal Government also approved the employment of 10,000 youths from all the oil producing states, out of which 1,000 youths are to be employed in Anambra State, adding that he was in the state to ask the royal fathers to mention a particular place where the modular refinery would be cited in the state and to prepare for the selection of the youths to be employed.
Flanked by Chief Monday Whisky, HOSCON’s National Media Director and other national officers; Anambra HOSCON officers, including the state chairman, Anthony Chiokwe, his deputy, Greg Onyilegbe and the state organising secretary, Ifeanyi Chigbo (a.k.a. Target), Emuh who is also a member of Federal Government’s Governing Council on Petroleum, also handed over all the documents containing the approvals from the Federal Government and a copy of HOSCON’s constitution to the royal fathers.
It’s welcome development—Anambra Govt Anambra State government reacted last night on the new status of the state as officially an oil producing state, describing it as a welcome development. Speaking with Vanguard on the issue, the state Commissioner for Information, Mr. C Don Adinuba, however observed that the quantity of oil produced in the state was still small, hoping that with further exploration, more oil would be discovered in the state. He said:
“This is cheering news, but we must realize that the quantity of oil produced in Anambra State cannot be compared to what is produced in other oil -producing states in the country.
“The oil in Anambra is produced from marginal oil fields, which may not immediately attract international oil companies. For now, the oil is produced through barges as opposed to pipeline drilling that carries large quantity of crude oil.
“But we are grateful for this recognition, which will surely shore up the state’s revenue, even if marginally.”
Responding, the State Chairman of Anambra Traditional Rulers Council and Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe, commended him for coming to brief them and disclosed that the traditional rulers would set up a committee to be headed by the traditional ruler of Aguleri, Igwe Christopher Idigo, to look into his briefings and take a decisive steps.
Achebe who handed all the documents over to Igwe Idigo, disclosed that he himself, having worked in the oil industry for over 30 years, would serve as a private consultant to actualize the dream of Anambra getting its fare share as an oil producing state.