Niger Delta Coalition Tells FG to Revoke Oil LicencesShola OyeyipoAll Africa Global Media
A group, Coalition of Ethnic and Political Pressure Groups in the Niger Delta under the aegis of the United Niger Delta Energy Development Security Strategy (UNDEDSS), has called on the Federal Government to revoked oil licences in Nigeria.
The Secretary of the Prof Pat Utomi led-coalition Thursday, Mr. Tony Uranta, in a chat with journalists, said the group had resolved that Nigeria should revoke all oil leases and "begin at zero point to re-allocate them in the spirit of fairness and equity."
Uranta's spoke on the heels of reports that a section of the country controls 83 per cent of oil blocks in the country, insisted that oil blocs should now be allocated on federal character principle since the nation is reluctant to give total control to the locations of the oil or make sure the Niger Delta gets what it deserves.
He explained that the decision of UNDEDSS followed the rows in the Nigerian Senate over the proposed Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), which the executive said was aimed at reforming the oil sector.
The division over the passage of the bill was caused by a clause for additional 10 percent oil producing community fund which some Senators wanted expunged from the bill.
While some Northern Senators opposed to bill which had been on since the 6th Assembly when the senate opened debate on it on Tuesday, following day, Senator Ita Enang (Akwa Ibom North-east) on Wednesday exposed to the Senate and presented documents to back up his claims that 83 per cent of oil blocks in Nigeria were owned either directly by individuals from the North or companies owned by them.
Uranta, however, said the revelation was not news to the coalition but that the Northern Senators' strong opposition to a bill that proposes to introduce justice and equity to the Niger Delta people who have not had their fair share and who were facing environmental degradation and other health related issues from exploration and exploitation of oil in the region was worrisome.
He stated further that the inability of the National Assembly to pass the PIB since the sixth assembly when it was first introduced as "so unfair to the Niger Delta region".
"Whilst we talk of derivative principle of 13 per cent to the Niger Delta, we must remember that over 60 per cent of the federal allocation to councils in Nigeria go to the North. A lot of monies are being paid to the northern states based on the local government councils.
"While Bayelsa State for instance gets an allocation indirectly derived from the oil it produces for eight councils, Kano gets allocation for up to 44 councils. These are the injustice in the system that that should touch the heart of any right thinking person in this nation," he said.
According to him, the 13 per cent derivative fund already in practice was not enough to take care of the havoc caused by exploration in the Niger Delta region.
Ewang listed Alhaji Mai Deribe, Borno State and owner of Cavendish Petroleum, which operates OML 110 with an average of about N4billion monthly; Seplat/Platform Petroleum, operators of the ASUOKPU/UMUTU Marginal Field with Mallam (Prince) Sanusi Lamido, Kano, as a major shareholder and director; South Atlantic Petroleum Limited (SAPETRO) established by General T. Y. Danjuma, Taraba State , who is also chairman of Eni Nigeria Limited; SAPETRO partnered with Total Upstream Nigeria Limited (TUPNI) and Brasoil Oil Services Company Nigeria Limited to become operators of the OPL 246; AMNI International Petroleum and Development Company owned by Alhaji (Colonel) Sani Bello of Kontangora , Niger State; former Petroleum Minister and former OPEC Chairman, Rilwanu Lukman, another northerner who manages AMNI oil blocks "with very key interest in the NNPC/Vitol trading deal; Oriental Energy Resources Limited, a company owned by Alhaji Indimi, which runs three oil blocks - OML 115, the Oldwok field and the Ebok field; Alhaji Aminu Dantata's Express Petroleum and Gas Limited, operator of OML 108 as some of the northerners.
He also stated further that OML 113 allocated to Yinka Folawiyo Petroleum Limited is owned by Alhaji W.I. Folawiyo. Alhaji Saleh Mohammed Gambo, North East Petroleum Limited, is the holder of the OPL 215 Licence. North East Petroleum was awarded blocs OPL 276 and OPL 283 and closing thereupon a Joint Venture Agreement with Centrica Resources Nigeria Limited and CCC Oil and Gas, adding that INTEL is owned by former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, the late Gen. Shehu Musa Yar'Adua, and Ado Bayero, and that it has substantial stakes in Nigeria's oil exploration industry both in Nigeria and Sao Tome and Principe.
He said that Mike Adenuga's Conoil is the oldest indigenous oil exploration company with six blocks. OPL 291 was awarded to Starcrest Energy Nigeria Limited, owned by Emeka Offor, which was sold to Addax Petroleum.