A group, Host Communities of Nigeria (oil and gas producing communities), Hostcom has called for explanation over the whereabouts of the crude oil drilled from the recently discovered wells in Anambra State, saying that the state was overdue for the 13 per cent derivative from the federation account.
The group, while briefing journalists at the weekend, lamented the federal government’s stand that Anambra cannot benefit from the 13 per cent derivation as an oil producing state, because its oil was not in commercial quantity yet.
National chairman of Hostcom, Dr Mike Emuh, while briefing journalists in Awka after a meeting of the Anambra chapter of the group, said the reason for refusal to pay Anambra state its 13 per cent derivation was no longer acceptable.
“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. 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?
“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?”
Emuh wondered why the federal government would dismiss Anambra’s demand for payment on the basis that the oil was in small quantity, yet foreign oil companies have rained stationed in the area, drilling its oil for years.
He described the discovery of gas in Anambra as a blessing to the state, saying that while oil was fast depleting in quantity in Nigeria and the price shrinking, gas has remained high in price.
“Oil is going, and gas is coming. Gas is now the major frontier of oil business, and with the discovery of gas in Anambra, it is supposed to be a major boom for the state.”
The national president said Hostcom comprised of all host communities of fields where oil and gas have been discovered, and that its aim was to promote peace in their individual areas and engender peaceful and harmonious living between expatriates working in the oil fields and their host communities.
He further tasked the federal government to consider siting one out of the 10 modular refineries proposed to be built in the country in Anambra State.