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Beyond Oil Economy And Enthusiasm For Bitumen Exploration
Published Sep 12, 2020 IN Column, THE BULL EYE,
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 Nigeria has varied natural resources. You may not know them all if you don’t find out or read about them. Apart from oil, she has more than fifty natural resources dotted all over the country. Bitumen is one of them. Bitumen is a black sticky and tarry substance obtained from oil. And it is used for covering surface of roads, roofs and the like. It occurs as an abundant natural production many places. It is one of the numerous natural resources found in Nigeria. Nigeria is blessed with it in commercial quantity, in Ondo state. And hers is one of the best in the world after that of Venezuela. And Nigeria’s own is also best in Africa.


Engineer Bob Canadian once revealed that ‘’Nigeria’s own is even of finer quality more than that of Venezuela in most aspects’’. Added that Nigeria ‘’is blessed and if this exploration is allowed to see the light of the day there will various job opportunities, and that will reduce poverty and conflicts as you have in oil, that is if your government and leaders will agree’’ When asked why the delay and the need to come to this site when that of Agbabu has not be tapped or explored he said this site need urgent attention and everything is almost ready we are just waiting for your Head of State, Sanni Abacha to sign the papers but he is demanding for a higher percentage. So the delay and why the project went into oblivion then was the leadership and corruption. ,Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida (IBB), perhaps some other head of states have been there to see what they can do to expedient action. But all to no avail.


Studies have shown too that Ogun, Lagos, Edo, Kogi and Katsina states are also endowed with bitumen. Among these, Ondo state is top of the list. I believe that is the reason the state under the eagles of the South West Bitumen Exploration Limited have shown it readiness to commence modular exploration of Africa’s largest deposits in the Southern part of Ondo state. The company’s mining Engineer Akinyele and Engineer Adeiya Oluwatominiyi said the firm s will deliver 20 tonnes of bitumen monthly in the first instance, adding that when it is established an output of 50,000 tonnes will be realised.


It will be recalled that Governor Akeredolu Rotimi administration has been pursuing the mining project. Pertinent to this is the puff of the Katsina state Governor Alhaji Aminu Masari who eyes ,minerals to boost the state revenue, as it was captured in the Guardian o f T h u r s d a y 2 7 A u g u s t 2 0 2 0 p 5 Masari’s administration will continue to harnessing 37 minerals resources to shore up its revenue base. The Minister of Mines and SteeLOlamilekanAdegbite has also reiterated that with the depressing impact of COVID 19 on oil revenue and huge joblessness, the apex government is enhancing investment in Solid , bitumen, bauxite and phosphates. In his words it has become imperative for the government to seek investment from non-oil sector to salvage the looming economic hiccups.


It is against this background that it should be reiterated that Uranium also is found in Akwa-Ibom, Baucchi, Bayelsa states, while bauxite if found in Adamawa, Benue and Plateau, Gold in Abia, Ebonyi, Kebbi, Niger, Osun, Oyo,Plateau and Zamfara states And Coal found in Enugu, Ondo and Zamfara.


When it is said that the sky is falling it will not fall on one person or an individual or a group of persons alone. It will fall on all. ‘’ It is also true that when a pot of water is on fire the one who has or nursing an injury will automatically know that there is a treatment for him’’. This is of the same kind to the words of the chairman of the revenue mobilization allocation and fiscal commission (RMAFC), Engineer Elias Mbam when he said that ‘’there is need for states to grow their economies away from oil. ’’ Analogically true that a man who abuses womenfolk does not excludes his and mother even wife and aunts. The fact that Mbam was represented by a federal commissioner in the Commission, in the person of AlhajiKabir Muhammed, the dictum was clear, as he is expressing the concern of the President and the commission and concerns of the populace for the umpteenth time. The message if for all and sundries. Because in the first instance the commission was on advocacy and sensitization tour on data gathering and the state was assured and guaranteed by the commission of fair and equitable from the distribution of revenue accruing from the state the federation account, through improved statistical methods. And I believe the commission will also get reports back from all the states and oil producing states visited to the presidency.


According to the commission the tour became imperative to plug loopholes for transparent sharing of revenue among the federating units based on certain indices, that is true but the commission should look inward and encourage the diversified economy and remember the goose that lay the golden eggs. Because if we have diversified the nation’s economy, or established resource control long ago which will naturally result in increased revenue from the proceeds of the resource for the owners or producers of the resource, that is the states and the communities., the result and level of the country’s should have be different. . The real aspect of the concept is ownership, from which flows actual control and management of the resources.

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