Anambra will in two weeks time formally join the league of oil-producing states in Nigeria. This will happen on July 30 when President Goodluck Jonathan will visit the south east state to commission operations at the new Anambra oil wells and to officially welcome Anambra into the fold of oil-bearing states.
Transport & Business Express reports that the state government-owned Orient Petroleum Resources Plc has struck oil from three wells in Anambra North and that it has already despatched oil through River Anambra and River Niger to Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital in south south Nigeria, for export in three barge tankers. “The very light crude from these wells will continue to be exported till the Orient Refinery in Aguleri starts operation in a few months time,” said Uche Ezechukwu, a prominent Anambra indigene and foremost media practitioner who has a deep knowledge of the operations of Orient Petroleum.
Started under the Chinwoke Mbadinuju administration, Orient Petroleum was incorporated on July 20, 2001 but went comatose following the exit of the Mbadinuju administration in 2003. “It was revitalized by Governor Peter Obi who injected N4 billion into it as the state government’s stake and has helped to do all the silent spade work that led to this happy state of affairs,” Ezechukwu said in a Facebook post this morning.
Orient Petroleum is chaired by former Commonwealth Secretary General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, and parades a powerful board on which sits the likes of former Nigerian Vice President, Ide Alex Ekwueme.
Transport & Business Express reports that previous Nigerian governments had disallowed the exploitation of Anambra’s petroleum resources, declaring them to be on strategic reserve, while denying Anambra the status and benefits of an oil producing state. The policy has now been reversed by President Jonathan.
Nigeria presently has eight oil-producing states – Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, Imo, Ondo and Rivers. Cross River was originally on the list but lost that status following last week’s Supreme Court judgment that ceded all the 76 oil wells previously belonging to the state to Akwa Ibom.
Source(Transport & Business Express)