There had been agitation to the lopsided allocations of oil blocks in Nigeria. It had been the basis for the clamour for the restructuring of the country.
Oil is the mainstay of the economy of Nigeria. Some political watchers have argued that rather than being a blessing to the country, oil has been a curse.
A former Senator of the Federal republic of Nigeria, now a Presidential adviser to President Buhari, Ita Enang had in one of the stormy sessions at the Senate chamber of the National assembly revealed the lopsided allocations of oil blocks.
This is what he presented:
Senator Ita Enang Reveal that Northerners own 80% of oil blocks
Senator Ita Enang (Akwa Ibom North East) described the opposition to the 10 per cent host community fund by mostly northern senators as “misplaced”.
Enang, who was also the Chairman, Senate Committee on Rules and Business, said that those opposed to the fund should know that over 83 per cent of oil blocks are owned by northerners.
But he did not give the number of oil blocks Nigeria has.
Senator David Mark, who seemed to have been shocked by what Enang said, said the Akwa Ibom lawmaker should not be distracted (some senators were grumbling) because he was making an important point.Mark asked Enang whether he could substantiate his claim.
Enang promptly pulled out a document from his folder and reeled out oil blocs and their owners.
He said he did not intend to divide the country but to guide those who wanted to contribute to the debate to be truly informed.
He listed northerners who own oil blocks to include Alhaji Mai Deribe, Borno State and owner of Cavendish Petroleum, which operates OML 110 with an average of about N4billion monthly.
He also listed 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 is owned by Alhaji (Colonel) Sani Bello of Kontangora , Niger State.
“They are operators of OML 112 and OML 117,” he said.
He said that a former Petroleum Minister and former OPEC Chairman, Rilwanu Lukman, another northerner manages AMNI oil blocks “with very key interest in the NNPC/Vitol trading deal.”
He said that Oriental Energy Resources Limited, a company owned by Alhaji Indimi, runs three oil blocks – OML 115, the Oldwok field and the Ebok field.
He said that Alhaji Aminu Dantata’s Express Petroleum and Gas Limited, operates OML 108.
Enang said 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.
He said that INTEL is owned by former Vice President Atiku, the late Gen. Shehu Musa Yar’Adua and Ado Bayero. 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.
Enang urged the Senate to cause the immediate revocation of all oil blocks licences and their redistribution, in accordance with the Federal Character Principle.
He said: “My submission is that when you look at the distribution of those who own oil blocks and the amount of money that comes from the different oil blocks to the Federation Account and you see the owners of these oil blocks, you will agree with me that there is inequity in the distribution of oil blocks.
“The oil is produced in the Niger Delta yet it is the people of the Northeast and the Northwest and a little of the Northcentral, almost nothing of the Southwest and the Southeast, that are the persons owning and controlling these oil blocks.
“Almost nothing for the South south, Niger Delta oil producing areas.
“They are quarreling with the area that takes just 13 per cent when you are producing the entire 100 per cent, you give some to the Federation Account and they give only 13 per cent of what you give and, of course, it is whatever you declared that you have produced. It is actually produced by you.
“I did not want to introduce something that is divisive.
“It is not intended to divide the country, it is intended to say ‘look, let us be realistic’.
“What some of the oil wells and the owners of the oil wells produce in a month and take as profit is sometimes more than what two or three states receive from the Federation Account.”
Enang noted that “when a group of people are richer than a state and then it is produced by you, then there is so much opposition that even the people who suffer the effect of the oil production should not be give host communities’ fund; and we have explained that the host communities fund is not only for the oil producing; it is for any of the communities that hosts oil infrastructure, which includes oil pipelines, refineries, gas pipelines and anything that is capable of causing danger.”
“If we had the host communities fund, the danger that we have been having in Arepo in Ogun State, the area would have benefited from the host communities fund.”
Enag said that other areas, such as Kaduna and some other states, will benefit from it.
He went on: “If you are producing and declaring only what you like and only the 10 per cent now being provided for the host communities and the 13 per cent which is after deducting everything, that cannot be in the interest of the country.
“What I am asking now is that oil blocs in the whole country should be revoked and redistributed according to Federal Character Principle.
“We are not saying that we in the Southsouth should have all or the Southeast should have all or the Southwest should have all.
“In fact, if there are 18 oil blocs or 36 oil blocks, we don’t mind that you give us at least four, Northeast four, Southeast four, Northwest four.
“At least, let there be equity, but then there should be the principle of who owns it and then you give us more.
“But at this time, we don’t even have it. The 13 per cent is what we are even suffering to sustain.”