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Ex-Anambra Reps member faults Soludo’s list of oil producing communities

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Tony Okafor,Awka

A former House of Representatives member for Ogbaru Federal Constituency, Hon Victor Afam Ogene,
has faulted the list of oil producing communities in the state as announced by the state governor Prof Chukwuma Soludo last week.

According to Ogene, the governor’s list excluded the main oil producing communities in Ogbaru, Anambra State, from the proposed Anambra State Oil and Gas Development Committee.

He called the attention of Soludo to what he called the “unfair and unlawful exclusion”, which he said negated the objective of the Petroleum Industry Act.

He said the main oil producing communities were Ogwuaniocha and Ogwuikpele, pointing out that out of the 11 Oil wells that qualified Anambra as an Oil Producing state, eight were sited in both communities; yet nobody from the communities was found worthy of inclusion in the committee.

According to a government announcement last week, Soludo would on Tuesday, December 13, inaugurate the members of the Anambra State Oil and Gas Development Committee.

But Ogene, who is the 2023 House of Representatives candidate of the Labour Party in Ogbaru, in a statement on Monday said, “While that’ll be considered a great news for our dear State, Anambra – that is gradually taking its place in the comity of oil producing states in Nigeria – the obvious exclusion of the main host communities, Ogwuaniocha and Ogwuikpele, both in Ogbaru Local Government Area, remains a disrespectful anomaly that runs contrary to the recently signed Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), that prioritises oil host community engagement and inclusion.

“The PIA describes host communities as communities ‘situated in or appurtenant to the area of operation of a settlor and any other community as a settlor may determine.”

“There are two Ogbaru sons in the Committee, the Commissioner for Information and one other, the non-inclusion of anyone from the twin communities of Ogwuaniocha and Ogwuikpele, is not only unjust but a development that might give oxygen to future bickering and rancour which Anambra doesn’t need at this period.

” The Petroleum Industry Act, 2021 (PIA or “the Act”) was signed into law in August 2021. The PIA introduces significant changes to the legal and governance framework, administrative processes, regulatory and fiscal terms, and host community engagements in the oil and gas industry, in order to ensure transparency and enabling environment for oil producing operations”.

Ogene therefore called on Soludo to urgently look into the anomalous exclusion with a view to ensuring that both Ogwuaniocha and Ogwuikpele are properly represented in the committee for the overall interest of the state and mutual goodwill.

Ifeizu

Ifeizu is a seasoned journalist and Managing Editor of TheRazor. He has wide knowledge of Anambra State and has reported the state objectively for over a decade.

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