Ohaneze Ndigbo plans to investigate the ownership of Nigeria's oil wells and publish the list

PAN-Igbo cultural organisation Ohaneze Ndigbo has taken it upon itself to commence an investigation into the ownership of oil blocks in the Niger Delta as part of an ongoing review of who controls the nation's resources with a view to ensuring fairness.


Under Nigerian law, the petroleum minister is art liberty to hand out oil blocks to whoever he or she pleases and historically, this has been an avenue for widespread corruption. Government ministers have handed out blocks to cronies, business associates, family members and clans men and women, keeping the proceeds within their immediate circles.


Among other things, there is also a widespread belief that the majority of the oil blocks in the Niger Delta have been given to businessmen from northern Nigeria. This has been a source of bitterness in the Niger Delta where local communities complain that they do not share in the proceeds of the wealth generated from their land.


President Muhammadu Buhari has already said that most of the current oil blocks will not be renewed when they expire but Ohaneze Ndigbo says the ownership of these sources of wealth need to be investigated. According to Ohaneze Ndigbo, this is to ensuring that no part of the country dominates the sector.


It said it would also collect data on all positions and the distribution of offices in all federal ministries, agencies and parastatals with a view to ensuring fair distribution to all parts of the country. Chuks Ibegbu, Ohaneze Ndigbo's deputy publicity secretary, advised the Federal Character Commission to ensure fair representation of all sections of the country without sacrificing merit.


He also lauded the recent court ruling which ordered a uniform cut-off point for admission into all federal tertiary schools and federal government colleges. Ohaneze Ndigbo regretted that the unjust disparity hitherto has wrought unfair hardship on students seeking admission to federal institutions from the southeast in particular and the south in general.


On the issue of the senate presidency and speakership of the Federal House of Representatives now raging, Ohaneze noted that what Ndigbo needed most is the restructuring of Nigeria and not who occupies what position, which only benefits the occupant. Mr Ibegbu said: “We are not much interested in positions now but what our people, the common Igbo masses will benefit from the country in its entirety.”


In addition, he added that the Ohaneze Ndigbo leadership will meet very soon to take stock of the last elections and react appropriately. Mr Ibegbu warned anybody purporting to speak on the issue on behalf of Ohanaeze Ndigbo to desist from doing so.