Reps stop bid to designate Bauchi oil-producing state

Reps stop bid to designate Bauchi oil-producing state

The Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, put the motion to vote three times and each time, members unanimously voted against the motion.

he House of Representatives on Thursday rejected a motion that sought to declare Bauchi as an oil-producing state in the country.

The motion, sponsored by Yakubu Abdullahi (APC-Bauchi), was rejected by the lawmakers at plenary on Thursday.

The motion, which was listed as item 22 on the Order Paper for the day, acknowledged that oil and gas remain critical to the economic development of Nigeria.

Presenting his motion, Mr Abdullahi said President Muhammadu Buhari had on February 2, 2019 inaugurated the Spud-In of Kolmani River II well drilling in Bauchi state.

Mr Buhari further directed the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to extend its exploration to six basins in the country, he noted further.

Mr Abdullahi said it has become imperative to ascertain the fortunes at the disposal of the federal government in Alkaleri Local Government Area so as to hasten the process of giving effect to the provisions of the new Petroleum Industry Bill, 2021 in terms of the economic benefit the host community stands to gain.

He argued that any community where crude oil is discovered and or produced is entitled to 13 per cent derivation as host communities as prescribed by law for the sake of adverse impacts of exploration on their environment, infrastructure and health.

Mr Abdullahi asserted that oil exploration in Bauchi State commenced since 2018, though there has not been any official report on the success or otherwise of the exploration. Yet he said the people of Bauchi State, who are to benefit from the 13 per cent derivation are anxiously waiting to witness the economic benefits.

He then moved the House to “Mandate the Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream) to invite the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation to give comprehensive representation on the level of work in the oil exploration currently undertaken in the area.”

The Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, put the motion to vote three times and each time, members unanimously voted against the motion.

This article originally appeared in People’s Gazette

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