Kogi state governor, 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 by the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission, RMAFC.
The governor conveyed his ‘thank you’ message to Mr President while on a visit to the State House, Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday.
Bello who addressed journalists in the State House after a meeting with Mr President said he was in the Villa to thank President Muhammadu Buhari for the recognition of Kogi as an Oil-producing state and had a discussion with him on the resuscitation of the Ajaokuta Steel Complex also in Kogi State.
“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 governor said.
He said with the recognition of Kogi and Anambra, the age-long oil wells dispute that resulted in unwarranted killings and destruction of property between two communities of Odeke in Ibaji local government area of Kogi and Aguleri in Anambra state has come to an end while commending Mr 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.
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.
Since the assumption office in 2016, governor Yahaya Bello who always work in silence understudied the disputed area and with deft political approach pursuit the matter which remained unresolved by his predecessors to a logical conclusion.