The Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, on Monday declared that Lagos has officially joined the League of Oil Producing States in Nigeria following the discovery of crude oil by Yinka Folawiyo Petroleum Company Limited in Badagry, Lagos.
Governor Ambode, who made the declaration when the management of the company led by the Group Managing Director, Tunde Folawiyo, paid him a courtesy visit at the Lagos House, Ikeja, commended the firm for their doggedness to achieve the feat after 25 years of hard work, saying by the provision of Section 162 Sub-Section 2 of the Nigeria Constitution, Lagos has become an oil producing State.
“I want to thank you very much for this and I say it with all conviction,” Mr. Ambode said.
“Because I know that based on section 162 Sub-Section 2 of the Nigeria Constitution, Lagos becomes an oil producing state and by virtue of this, the 13 percent derivation that is due to oil producing states, Lagos will start to partake from it by your very good gesture.
“So we officially declare Lagos State an oil producing state, we also notify the Federal Government by this action that we would be sharing out of the 13 percent derivation. So all we need do is to apply and then we join.”
Mr. Ambode also said the feat 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 by the additional revenue that is coming from this action, we would have more resources to provide infrastructure for Lagosians,” he said.
“And this is what we want other investors and businessmen to emulate, so that 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 the resilience of Yinka Folawiyo Petroleum Company, an indigenous firm, has shown the possibilities and opportunities for investors and businessmen willing to commit their resources to boost local production.
“The Federal Government has always said that we all need to look back inwards and start to do things for ourselves,” said the govenor.
“Spending 25 years to be able to get to this stage and get something productive shows a lot about your belief, tenacity and doggedness and 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 don’t 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.”
Governor Ambode said the historic discovery means that the three senatorial districts, Lagos West, Lagos East and Lagos Central have all combined to open up the economic and investment potentials of the state.
“From the Lagos West axis, we have crude oil coming out of it, from the Lagos East axis, we have the petrochemical refinery factory coming from the Lagos Free Trade Zone by the Dangote Group which will come on board by 2018 and from the Lagos Central axis, it’s the financial district of Nigeria,” he said.
“We are likely to have three Sea Ports in Lagos in another two years; we have the Badagry Deep Sea Port and the Lekki Port and also the Apapa port.
“So, somehow, in some manner, some things are being put up that seems like a puzzle, but the future prosperity of Lagos is more than well assured and we are happy that we are part of that and this government is heavily committed to complement the efforts of business men like you.”
Earlier, Mr. Folawiyo said the discovery of crude oil in Lagos, which had taken over 25 years to achieve, has gone a long way to show the possibilities achievable if government continues to lend support to indigenous investors and companies.
“At so many points along the way, we could have given up because it was a very rough road, but the point is that only a Nigerian company would have continued to do what we did,” Mr. Folawiyo said.
“The main crux is that we need government and government needs us and where government supports assiduously, it can only be success.”
Mr. Folawiyo said the company spent about $400million dollars to achieve the feat.
He said 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.
Mr. Folawiyo also presented Governor 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.