A constitutional lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr. Femi Falana, has faulted the report that emanated from the Senate that 83 per cent of oil bocks are owned by the northerners, describing it as outdated and misleading. THISDAY had reported last week that the oil concessions referred to by the Senate belonged to indigenous operators, not foreign oil firms and was therefore not truly representative of the award of oil licences in the Niger Delta.
Falana said in a statement last night that 80 per cent of the oil blocks are owned by foreigners and not northerners, as the list published in the Senate contained only the names of those who were allocated oil blocks during the military era.
“In other words, the list did not contain the names of the other traders who have been allocated oil blocks by the ruling party since 1999. Equally missing from the list are the names of multinational companies, otherwise called “oil majors” which control and manage the lion share of the oil and gas industry,” he said.
Falana, who said he had never supported the policy of allocating the oil blocks owned exclusively by the Federal Government to selected individuals and foreign oil companies, however, noted that it was pertinent to point out that the list published was grossly misleading. He said apart from Mobil there were about 17 other foreign oil companies, which are the major key players in the oil industry, while Nigerians were forced to operate in the marginal fields.
Falana said foreign companies own 80 per cent of the oil blocks, adding that they are completely in charge of the oil and gas industry. – http://www.thisdaylive.com/articles/falana-80-of-oil-blocks-owned-by-foreigners-not-northerners/141816/