Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, monday said the state had officially joined the league of oil producing states in the country with the discovery of crude oil off Lagos coast by an indigenous oil firm, Yinka Folawiyo Petroleum Company Limited.
By implication, the governor disclosed that the state would henceforth start benefiting from 13 percent derivation due to oil producing states in line with the provision of section 162(2) of the 1999 Constitution.
He made the remark yesterday when the management of Yinka Folawiyo Petroleum Company Limited led by its Group Managing Director/Chief Executive, Mr. Tunde Folawiyo paid him visit at Lagos House, Ikeja.
But the governor noted that Lagos “has become an oil producing state by the provision of Section 162(2) of the Constitution. By virtue of this, Lagos will start to partake from 13 percent derivation that is due to oil producing states.
“So, we officially declare Lagos State as an oil producing state. We notify the federal government by this action that we will be sharing out of 13 percent derivation. So all we need do is to apply and then we join.”
Ambode said the discovery of Aje oil “has not only placed Lagos in the history books as the first state outside the Niger Delta to become an oil producing state, but has also opened up a new page for revenue generation in the state.
“It also means that additional revenue will come to the state. We would have more resources to provide infrastructure for Lagos residents. This is what we want other investors and businessmen to emulate.
“Beyond the issue of profit, you are actually creating impact on people without them necessarily knowing that it is actually coming from a venture like this that you have embarked on,” he said.
He said the resilience of the Yinka Folawiyo Petroleum Company has shown the possibilities and opportunities for investors and businessmen willing to commit their resources to boost local production.
“I want to commend what you have done, it is a sign that you believe so much in Lagos State. I want to congratulate you, I want to showcase you as a very good example of a dogged entrepreneur, as someone who believes in Nigeria because that’s what you epitomise here.
“The federal government has always said that we all need to look back inwards and start to do things for ourselves. Spending 25 years to be able to get to this stage and get something productive shows a lot about your belief, tenacity and doggedness.
“I want to recommend you to every other Nigerian investor that there is still greater hope for Nigeria and with the likes of you, I do not see any reason why any Nigerian needs to be afraid because you have just shown by this indigenous discovery that anything is possible in Nigeria.”
At the meeting, Folawiyo disclosed that a whopping sum of $400 million was committed to developing its Aje field located in Block OML 113 offshore Lagos coast.
He added that the current status of the oil well “has the capacity to produce at least 12,000 barrels per day, with a possibility to increase to 25,000 to 50,000 barrels per day in the nearest future.
Folawiyo said the discovery of crude oil in Lagos that took over 25 years had gone a long way to show the possibilities achievable if governments continues to lend support to indigenous investors and companies.
He said his team could have given up at different points along the way, noting that it “was a very rough road. But the point is that only an indigenous firm will have continued to do what we did. The man crux is that we need government and government needs us and where government supports assiduously, it can only be success.”
Folawiyo also presented Ambode with a sample of the crude oil discovered by his company in the State, a confirmation of Lagos becoming the first basin out of the Niger Delta to become an oil producing state, which according to him, is by no means a small feat.
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