One of the lead speakers at the Northern Leadersâ€™ Conference, Usman Bugaje, has raised a controversial issue on the ownership of Nigeriaâ€™s crude oil domiciled majorly in the Niger Delta region.
According to him, it is wrong for any state to claim that it is oil producing because 72% of the total land mass in the country belonged to the North and that by the United Nationâ€™s law; it is only the North that actually has the right to claim ownership.
Dr. Bugaje, in his presentation, insisted that â€œthere are no oil producing states.â€ He argued that â€œthe only oil producing state is the Nigerian state itself.â€
He explained, â€œWhatever mileage you get in the sea, according to the United Nations Law of the sea, is a measure of the land mass that you have; that is what gives you the mileage into the seaâ€¦and the land mass of this country, that gives that long 200 nautical miles or more into the ocean, is because of that 72% of the land mass of this country, which is the North.â€
To buttress his argument, Dr. Bugaje also said, â€œThe investment came from the Nigerian state and the territory belongs to the Nigerian state.â€
He further maintained, â€œWhat they claim is the off shore oil is actually the oil of the Northâ€ contending that â€œwe should stop using these terms that have no sense at all. There are no oil producing states.â€