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Reps reject motion to designate Bauchi as oil producing state

The House of Representatives rejected a motion that sought to declare Bauchi as an oil producing state.

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

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

It would be recalled that on February 2, 2019 President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurated the Spud-In of Kolmani River II well drilling in Bauchi state.

The President further directed the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to extend its exploration to six basins in the country.

“Also, aware that 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.

“Further aware that any community from whose location oil is discovered and or produced is entitled to several extra revenues which is special attention for the sake of its environment, infrastructure and health impact.

“Desirous of the need for the people of Bauchi to start benefiting from the 13 per cent derivation, being the host community, incentives provided for by the law.

“Informed that oil exploration in Bauchi State commenced since 2018 and up till today it is still ongoing, but no official report on whether the exercise is a success or not and Nigerians, particularly the people of Bauchi State, who are to benefit from the 13 per cent derivation are anxiously waiting to witness the economic benefits.

“Recalls that it is the statutory function of the parliament to enact Laws in any sector of the economy, and take measures in order to create an environment for certainty, confidence and assurance for equitable treatment of the people.

“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 motion stated.

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

SOURCE: PUNCH

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