TheNigerianVoice Online Radio Center

PIB: Northerners Control 83% Of Oil Blocs In Nigeria, Senate C'ttee Chairman Reveals

Listen to article

ABUJA, March 06, (THEWILL) – It was stunning as it was deafening a revelation on Wednesday that a colossal 83 per cent of Nigeria's oil blocs are owned by past presidents, top military officers, politicians and businessmen of northern extraction,

The revelation was the high point at the resumed debate on the general principles of the controversial Petroleum industry Bill (PIB) on the floor of the Senate.

Chairman, Senate Committee on Rules and Business, Senator Ita Enang (Akwa Ibom/PDP), took his time to make a detailed disclosure with names, oil blocs and companies operating them during his contribution to the debate.

He did not stop at that; Enang further demanded that PIB,if passed, must include that all oil blocs be revoked and re-awarded to ensure a true reflection of the Federal Character principles.

According to Enang, investigations showed that the distribution of oil blocs were tilted largely in favour of the North East, North West and a fraction going to the North Central; a revelation that visibly startled lawmakers who attended plenary.

Enang said information on distribution of the oil blocs were obtained from several monitored report, which could be readily accessed by Nigerians.

“These (oil bloc awards) need to be looked into, revoked and re-awarded. The federal character which is a principle applicable in every aspect of our national existence should also be brought to bear in the application of our oil blocs, marginal fields and prospection licences,” he said.

A breakdown of the oil bloc distribution as presented by Enang read: “Cavendish Petroleum, the operators of the OML 110 awarded to Alhaji Mai Deribe of Borno State-North East, nets an average of about N4 billion monthly.

“Seplat/Platform Petroleum, operators of the Asuokpu/Umutu marginal field with Mallam (Prince) Sanusi Lamido, as a major shareholder and director.

“South Atlantic Petroleum Limited (SAPETRO) established by General T.Y Danjuma, who is also the 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 is owned by Alhaji (Colonel) Sani Bello of Kontogora, Niger State. They are operators of OML 112 and OML 117. A former Petroleum Minister and former OPEC Chairman, Rilwanu Lukman, another northerner, manages AMNI oil blocs and with very key interest in the NNPC/Vitol trading deal.

“Oriental Energy Resources Limited, a company owned by Alhaji Indimi runs three oil blocs: OML 115, the Oldwok field and Ebok field.

“Alhaji Aminu Dantata’s Express Petroleum and Gas Limited operates OML 108.

“OML 113 allocated to Yinka Folawiyo Petroleum Limited is owned by Alhaji W.I. Folawiyo.

“OPL 291 was awarded to Starcrest Energy Nigeria Limited owned by Emeka Offor which was sold by Starcrest to Addax Petroleum. Emeka Offor still has a stake in Addax operations in Nigeria.

“Mike Adenuga’s Conoil is the oldest indigenous oil exploration industry in Nigeria with six oil blocs.

“Alhaji Saleh Mohammed Gambo’s Northeast Petroleum Limited is the holder of the OPL 215 License, NOREST Petroleum, which it is known as, was awarded the blocs OPL 276 and OPL 283 and closing thereupon a Joint Venture Agreement with Centrica Resources Nigeria Limited and CCC Oil and Gas.

“INTEL is owned by Atiku, Yar’Adua and Ado Bayero and has substantial stakes in Nigeria’s oil exploration industry both in Nigeria and Sao Tome and Principe.”

Speaking to newsmen later, Enang said, “My argument is that for us to move forward, these persons have held these oil blocs and they are richer than the whole region or their States. Like some people who own oil bloc in the North East, they are richer than the entire six or seven States of the North East.

“Now it is still said that the Niger Delta is taking too much when one person is taking from the profit he makes from each of the oil blocs more than what even the derivation that the totality of the States are taking.

“So, I am saying No! Most of these oil blocs were awarded long ago. Most of them are so rich that the country becomes the poorer for it. We should revoke all the oil blocs, re-allocate them either through this bill (PIB) or an Act of the Executive. This is the wealth of the nation.

“We talk about people stealing oil. Oil is not stolen with teacup. It is stolen with ships and it is these big persons who have these facilities that are capable of facilitating it, not the ordinary persons that they accuse of being militants.”

It could be recalled that Senators mainly of northern extraction on Tuesday faulted the PIB’s provision which earmarked 10 per cent of the net profits of oil companies for petroleum host communities. In one, Senator Ahmed Lawan (Yobe/ANPP) led the charge, declaring during debates that N7.3 trillion accruing from the current 13 per cent derivation fund for oil producing states have been wasted by benefitting states since 1999 when it was established, a view widely endorsed by Northern Senators at the plenary.

Senator Danjuma Goje (Gombe/PDP) yesterday re-echoed the earlier position on the failings of the 13 per cent derivation fund. He said the PIB’s provision for the establishment of a Petroleum Host Communities Fund further exposed the inadequacies and misappropriation of the 13 per cent derivation fund.

He canvassed for constitutional amendment to allow for the 13 percent derivation fund to be split into 10 per cent for the host communities and three per cent for oil producing state governors.

The debate on the PIB is expected to end Thursday.