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PLANS UNDERWAY TO MAKE LAGOS, OGUN, BAUCHI NDDC MEMBERS STATES

Lagos, Ogun and Bauchi may soon become part of Nigeria's oil producing States. The Nine States already recognised by the NDDC Act are: Cross River, Edo, Delta, Abia, Imo, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa-Ibom and Ondo States.


The bill seeking this introduction has passed the second reading at the Senate. It was sponsored by Senator Solomon Olamilekan Adeola, representing Lagos West Senatorial District on the platform of APC.


Senator Adeola explained to the Senate on Wednesday that Bauchi, Lagos and Ogun had officially joined the league of oil-producing States by virtue of discovery of crude oil in Alkaleri, Badagry and Ipokia respectively.


He said; “By virtue of this, the States are entitled to the 13 per cent derivation that is due to oil-producing States, according to the provision of Section 162, Sub-Section 2 of the Nigerian constitution.


“Mr President, the purpose of this bill is for the Act to make provision for new States who have joined the leagues of oil-producing States in Nigeria and for States that might eventually discover oil in the future as opposed to the present position of the Act which only covers oil-producing States within the Niger Delta region.


However, the bill did not sit well with Senators from Niger Delta, as most of them furiously kicked against the proposed legislation which seeks to edit NDDC Act to include States outside of the Niger Delta region.


Senator Mathew Urhoghide, representing Edo South Central Senatorial District, said States outside of Niger Delta were free, as it were to share from the 13% derivation provided by law, if they produce crude oil in commercial quantity, stressing that adding them to the NDDC was out of place.


Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, representing Delta Central Senatorial District on the platform of APC, Delta State, described Senator Adeola as a “Meddlesome interloper."

He said the Senator should rather galvanise support for the creation of what he called: "South West Development Commission."


Other Senators from the Niger Delta region drummed support and applause to the remarks of Senator Omo-Agege. They said there are other legitimate ways to draw attention to and solve the developmental challenges in the South West, besides making Ogun and Lagos parts of NNDC.


It was also gathered that Senators from the Northern part of the country who added their voice to the debate were in support of the bill but were divided in whether the States in question should be part of NDDC or not. They wondered why the aforementioned States should be part of NDDC when they are really not in the Niger Delta.


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