Why South East Development Comission Will Be A Ruse


Oil was discovered in Nguzu and Edda of the old Afikpo division now in Ebonyi state by the colonial government donkey years back .It was discovered in Eha Ndiagu,Isi Uzo,Uzo Uwani of the old Nsukka division as far back as 1965.

Oil and gas was discovered in the old Awgu division.Akukwa field in the OPL 907 area at Ugwuoba,Oji River holds one of the largest gas deposits in the country.Six wells have so far been drilled in the block, including four shallow dry wells by Shell in 1938 – 1939, and two successful wells – Akukwa-1 and Akukwa-2, drilled by Shell/BP in 1955 and 1956 respectively.All these places are currently in Enugu state.I don’t want to talk about coal and other mineral deposits.

The oil in Anam, Aguleri in Anambra spreading to Uzo Uwani in Enugu was discovered almost same time.Chief Emeka Anyaoku,Dr Alex Ekwueme,Sir Cletus Ibeto and other Anambra men with political clout lobbied the federal government to grant their company;Orient Petroleum Plc the licence to explore oil there just a few years ago.That is how the oil wells and refinery around there were built.

Oil deposits and exploration in Abia and Imo need not be mentioned as those two states are already in the Niger Delta Development Commission.

The Eastern region government and prospecting oil companies considered the cost of exploring the oil and gas deposits onshore in the hinterlands​ higher than those of the riverine creeks of the Niger Delta.These “strategic reserves” remained untapped until the region was abolished by Col Gowon in May 1967 preempting Biafra.
Then they carved all the developed oilfields into Rivers and Cross River states as it was called then and left none in the East Central state;the home state of the “rebels” leader.

The federal government then confiscated the the ownership of oil deposits and every other minerals from the states after the war.If any firm want to explore oil,coal or any other essential mineral deposits,they will have to apply for licence from the FG.The proceeds from oil exploration goes to the FG.

Then again,the FG created more states and LGAs and devised a revenue sharing formula that gives the FG 56%,states 24% and LGAs 20% of all revenues.

Of the five states in the SE there are 95 LGAs but between just 3 out of 7 NW states of Kano, Katsina and Jigawa,there are 105 LGAs.Dont forget that revenue from oil is shared monthly between the FG,states and LGAs.

I am trying to prove to you why a SE Development Commission would not help the region and it’s long suffering people.What the region needs is to take back its wealth stolen and squandered by the federal government since 1970.

Take back the power to grant oil,coal and other minerals exploration licenses from the federal government and reject SEDC and other bribes.

Demand a constitutional restructuring that would make FG return the powers they stole from the region/states.

You cannot have “strategic reserves” of oil in Ebonyi,Enugu that is losing value everyday and partially explored reserves in Anambra,Abia and Imo while the FG has “spent about $340 million and additional N27 billion” looking for oil in the North.This is just one example using oil.

This political structure was deliberately designed to keep all of us down.Demand your freedom by demanding a constitutional restructuring of Nigeria and not a development commission.

Mbe Nwaniga

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