KOSOPADEC bills passes second reading in Kogi Assembly

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A bill for a law to Establish the Kogi State Oil Producing Area Development Commission and other Matters Connected therewith, twenty twenty three has passed through second reading on the floor of the Kogi State house Assembly.

Presenting the lead debate at plenary the majority leader of the house, Suleiman Abdulrazak said the bill had five parts.

He explained that the bill when passed into law would ensure that the money accruing from the thirteen percent derivation would be adequately distributed amongst the oil producing communities for development purposes.

He also said the bill sought to ensure the protection of the oil producing communities from environment and ecological degradation as a result of oil exploration activities.

Contributing to the debate, the member representing Ankpa one state constituency, Lawal Akus noted that, the bill was a welcome development as when passed into law, it would protect and promote development of the oil producing communities and regulate the activities of the prospective oil companies that would carryout exploration activities in the area.

The member representing Ibaji State Constituency, i Hon Comfort Ojoma Nwuchiola in her contribution commended Governor Yahaya Bello for his effort, support and commitment in ensuring that, Kogi State oil producing area development commission, (KOSOPADEC) receive the kind consideration of the State Executive Council and adoption as an executive body.

Narrating what led to Kogi State being an oil producing State, the first time lawmaker said “The preceding the declaration of Kogi and Ibaji as an oil producing State and Local Government, a bitter boundary dispute arose between Echengo and Odeke community of Ibaji Local Government of Kogi State and Enuguotu, Agulere, Ezagulu, Otu, and Umpadu Agulere community in Anambra East local government area.

“There was a serious battle and contended who to be the owner of that oil well. This is where Orange Petroleum Resources is operating in OPL 915 and 916 respectively. It may interest you to also know that eight illustrious sons of Ibagi local government lost their lives in defense of our land and commonwealth. Several others sustained various degrees of injuries and incapacitation.

According to her, the Nigerian constitution stipulates payment of 13% of oil revenue from the federation account to the state based on their production input as a derivation fund.

Continuing, she said “From the 13% fund, the oil producing states in Nigeria have all created an oil producing area development commission to execute development projects in their oil producing and impacted areas.

“The establishment of the Kogi State Oil Producing Area Development Commission, called KOSOPADEC, will bring Kogi in line with the other oil producing states in terms of best practices. The commission, when established, will assist the oil producing community in tackling environmental pollution, degradations, provision of basic amenities like healthcare, potable water, roads, and economic empowerment of the community”

She posited that, the setting of KOSOPADEC will also boost the administration’s giant strides in infrastructure and human capital development and stimulate the local economy.

Giving some of the basic highlights of the bill, the Lawmaker explained that, ” Section 19 subsection 1, which proposed 50% of the 13% derivation fund, as source of funding for the commission. The fund is for the use of the oil and gas producing community as compensation for loss of fishing rights and productive farmlands as a result of oil and gas exploration and production activities.

“It also serves as benefits and encourages communities to create an enabling environment to move production of crude oil and gas. Note that the 50% of the 13% fund is also retained by the state to be enjoyed by all sections of the state for development and other purposes.

“Section 6 subsection 2 makes provision for any other communities or local governments in Kogi State that may be adjudged an oil producing community by applicable law or authority to be accommodated in the commission.

” Section 4 proposed the governing board of the commission to consist of the chairman, the managing director, the four executive directors, 10 representatives of oil producing communities of the state, and 2 ex-official members from finance and justice ministries. The commission shall be, in the performance of its function, be subject to the direction, control, and supervision of the governor”.

In his contribution, the member representing Idah State Constituency Hon Usman Halidu Adejoh charged his colleagues to give their overwhelming support for the bill to scale through.

His wotds”I am supporting this bill and I urge each and every members of this hallow chamber to speak in favor of this bill so that at the end of the day we’ll have this commission in place, so that the host communities will enjoy a preferential treatment from the oil companies, multinationals coming in to do business in this communities.

“With this, the communities will have pipe born waters, hospitals, good and quality education for their children and necessary support that will come in form of small-scale businesses since their farm produce and farmland are being destroyed and ravaged by the oil”.

Ruling on the matter, the Speaker Aliu Umar Yusuf committed the bill to the house joint committees on judiciary, justice protocol and legal matters and that of solid minerals for further Legislative action.

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