The governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, has expressed the state government’s appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari for the recognition of Kogi as one of the oil-producing states in the country.
Kogi State and Anambra state were recently listed among Nigeria’s oil-producing states by the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC).
According to a statement by Onogwu Muhammed, chief press secretary to the governor, Bello conveyed his ‘thank you message’ to Buhari while on a visit to the presidential villa in Abuja on Tuesday.
The statement said while addressing journalists at the villa, Bello disclosed that he also had a discussion with Buhari on the resuscitation of the Ajaokuta steel complex in Kogi.
“The aim of my visit to Mr President this afternoon was to thank him for the recognition of Kogi State as one of the Oil-producing states in the country. And we also discussed the issue of Ajaokuta Steel Complex which Mr President said all efforts are ongoing to ensure the steel complex comes up before the end of his administration,” the statement quoted Bello as saying.
According to Mohammed, the governor said with the recognition of Kogi and Anambra, the age-long oil well dispute that resulted in unwarranted killings and destruction of property between two communities of Odeke in Ibaji LGA of Kogi and Aguleri in Anambra state has come to an end.
Bello also commended the president for the peaceful resolution of the dispute.
“The Ibaji oil crisis had been on for a while and has led to large scale destruction of property with the loss of many lives. The Odeke and Aguleri communities of Kogi and Anambra states laid exclusive claim to the ownership of the oil in the disputed area which has been finally resolved in favour of both states,” the statement reads.
“By history, the exploration of crude oil in Ibaji Local Government Area which comes under Anambra Basin in geological terms started in 1952 in the villages of Odeke, Echeno, Ihile, Anocha/Uchuchu, Omabo, Ikah, Iregwu and Ujeh all in Ibaji community of the present-day Ibaji Local Government Area of Kogi State.
“Between 1952 and 1986 three companies namely; Shell BP (now SPDC), ELF (now Total Fina Elf) and AGIP Energy have drilled 25 exploration wells, 2 appraisal wells and 8-core drill wells in the entire Basin out of which majority of the wells fall into Kogi State.”