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The Senate will include Kogi, Bauchi, others among the Niger Delta Commission

Amending a bill to include Kogi, Lagos, Anambra, Gombe, and others among the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) scaled back the second reading in the Senate on Wednesday.

The bill entitled: “A bill to amend the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Law No. 6, 2000 and for other related issues, 2021 ”, was sponsored by Senator Adeola Solomon Olamilekan representing the senatorial district of Lagos West.

Olamilekan in his main debate said the NDDC Act was activated over 21 years ago and oil and gas have since been discovered in Lagos, Kogi, Anambra, Gombe, Bauchi and other states, so the amendment would offer an opportunity. for the Act to capture the peculiarities of the new oil states.

In his contribution, Senator Ahmad Baba Kaita representing the Senatorial District of Katsina North, after supporting the proposed amendment, recalled how a former NNPC GMD told senators earlier that Nigeria would become one of the largest producers of oil to the world if the country’s oil discoveries were harnessed.

He said: “Thank you Mr. President, I remain Senator Ahmad Baba Kaita, North Senatorial District of Katsina. As for the motion on oil producing states, I think what’s good for the goose is good for the duck. In a state like Borno, where oil was discovered, I remember the former CEO of the NNPC group arguing here that with the arrival of such states, Nigeria will be one of the largest oil producers if we exploit our resources. .

“In this case, it is right for us to consider those states that produce oil because exploration will have an impact on the environment. The idea behind that motion is the consequences of oil exploration ”.

However, Senator George Thompson Sekibo urged senators to treat the amendment with caution.

He advised lawmakers to find out if those states began contributing to the Federation bill through their oil, adding that oil exploration in commercial quantities was earlier since derivation sharing was based on the amount of oil produced.

“Mr. President, I congratulate these states where they said they discovered oil. What I want to know is if they are of commercial quantity and if they are being drilled now and the money is going into the federal government account.

“We haven’t confirmed it yet, but since oil was discovered there, we want oil to come out of every terrain in Nigeria. Are they exploring oil? They are refining the oil there and the oil has wreaked havoc in those states.

“Mr. President, the purpose of the Niger Delta Development Commission law is not because they found oil there, but because the oil caused so much devastation and there was a need to fix the place.”

Senator Mathew Uroghide representing the Edo North Senatorial District disagrees with the proposed amendment, stating that the NDDC law was specifically intended to address the environmental degradation of the Niger Delta region.

According to him, the inclusion of some northern oil states in the Act will nullify the Act’s original intention.

He said: “Thank you Mr. President. I am Senator Mathew Uroghide representing the South Edo Senatorial District. I consider it a privilege to contribute to a bill sponsored by Senator Solomon Adeola Olamilekan. I am not particularly against the sponsor of the bill, but I believe that the bill must be presented correctly.

“Let’s start with the name,” Niger Delta Development Commission “, NDDC. Today the area referred to as the Niger Delta is very clear. The states that make up the Niger Delta region that the Commission is serving are very clear.

“Senator George Thompson Sekibo just mentioned the 13% derivation that each oil producing state gets which is a function of oil production.

“Oil production in Gombe and Bauchi and other northern states is already becoming a reality, but considering these states as the Niger Delta states is not right.

“But if there is a percentage for oil producing states, both Sokoto and Borno, of course, should benefit from it, but that doesn’t make them part of the Niger Delta. To say that other states are part of the Niger Delta is a mockery of the original idea of ​​the NDDC Act.

“The NDDC was created as an interventionist to mediate in the degradation of the environment due to oil exploration.”

After further contributions from lawmakers, Senate President Dr Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan voted on the bill and downgraded the second reading.

A public hearing was planned for a broader consultation in preparation for its final passage into law.

Source: – Daily post

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