The Federal Government on Wednesday approved four of the five oil wells discovered in Lagos as truly belonging to the state, but contests the state’s ownership of one other oil well, which it said fell beyond 200 metres isobaths and did not legitimately belong to Lagos state.
A delegation of the Indices and Disbursement Committee of the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) led by its Chairman Alhaji Aliyu Mohammed stated this during a visit to the state governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, for the purpose of verifying crude oil and gas production from Aje Oil wells for the purpose of disbursement of 13 per cent derivation fund to the state in line with the Constitution.
Mohammed explained that as part of procedure and in pursuant to its constitutional mandate, the Commission set up an Inter-Agency Technical Committee composed of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Office of the Surveyor General of the Federation and the National Boundary Commission to determine the location of the Aje oil wells.
According to him, “The technical committee recommended that for the purpose of derivation as spelt out under Section 162 (2) of the 1999 constitution (as amended) as well as the provision of the Allocation of Revenue Act 2004, Aje oil wells 1, 2, 4 and 5 fall within the 200m isobaths and therefore should be attributed to Lagos State.
“As a result, the commission and members of the Inter-Agency Committee had to embark on this working visit to conclude the process. Please, note that Aje 3 oil well falls beyond the 200m isobaths and therefore cannot be legitimately attributed to Lagos State,” he stated.
The commencement of oil production from Aje oil field by Yinka Folawiyo Petroleum Company Limited was the first time oil was being produced outside the Niger Delta basin and is of major significance in diversifying the source of crude oil and gas production in the country.
In his remarks, Ambode described the visit as historic and one that would go down in the annals of the history of Lagos State, as the visit was the official step that would take Lagos to that final destination as an oil-producing state.