Wednesday, 6 March 2013


Senators from the South-South geopolitical zone of the country yesterday bemoaned the non-application of the federal character in the allocation of oil blocs which was carried out in favour of the northern region. This revelation came to the fore during the debate on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) where northern senators kicked against the issues of 10 per cent host communities’ funds; foreseen excessive power to the petroleum minister and lack of financial autonomy and independence for the National Frontiers Exploration Agency. The heated debate prompted the Chairman, Senate Committee on Rules and Business, Senator Eta Inang, to open a can of worms when he said that northerners control 83 per cent of oil blocs in the country.  He said, “There should be equity and federal character in the allocation of oil blocs in this country. Presently, 83 per cent of oil blocs in this country are held by northerners”.

Inang substantiated his claim by displaying a document that listed northerners who own oil blocs. The list include Mai Deribe, T.Y. Danjuma, Sanusi Lamido, Sani Bello, Rilwanu Lukman, Mohammed Indimi, Aminu Dantata, Saleh Gambo, Ado Bayero, Musa Yar’Adua, Atiku Abubakar, Emeka Offor, Mike Adenuga and Waha Folawiyo. However, the senators yesterday agreed to subject the draft bill to the reading or committee stage, where the problematic issues would be filtered.                                             

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