Economy

OIL PRODUCTION IN OUR LAND  ( By Andrew Edimo )

Have you ever sat down to reflect on how rich Oroko land is? The land is blessed with crude oil and rich tropical rainforest but yet is one of the most under developed areas in the country? The Oroko land is blessed with assorted natural resources but the people do not profit from it. They have been pauperized.

Recently somebody asked me the following question and I quote, “una Oroko people, God bless una land with oil (crude oil) since wey them start digam, Ndian wey na capital for oil for Cameroon dong gain na watin? Na road, water, better school building or na good hospital?”

The aforementioned question started me thinking, and for three weeks I surfed the Internet for information on crude oil production in Ndian division.

At times I had to call on friends who work offshore in Cameroon for assistance because I could not find any basin called Ndian. I could see Douala, Kribi and Rio Del Rey basins.

My findings which are summarized in question and answers format here; are a leeway for others to start researching about crude oil in Ndian and develop solutions for future discussion. I pray you who hear this call, to do some research on your own. Sufficient information is available on the Internet by simply typing “crude oil exploration in Cameroon,” in the search window of Yahoo!, Google or any other search engines. . Keep in mind that Rio Del Rey basin is in Ndian division.

Where does 75% Crude Oil produced in Cameroon come from?

Since 1970, 75% of Crude Oil produced in Cameroon comes from an offshore area named Rio Del Rey Basin in Ndian division (Source: World Bank G-7)

When did Oil Exploration begin in Ndian division?

Crude Oil exploration started in Cameroon in early 1950 in Douala Basin. In 1964 when Nigeria discovered oil in Niger Delta in the Gulf of Guinea, Cameroon shifted her search for oil to now Ndian division, then part of Kumba division, and when oil was discovered there, it was called, “Rio Del Rey basin” unlike Douala and Kribi basins which were named after the towns.

The following are some of the oil fields in Rio Del Ray basin where millions of barrels have been rigged and the Oroko people are yet to gain from the blessings the Almighty God bestowed on their land: Boa Bakassi, Ekoundu, Kita Edem, Kole Marine, Lipanja, Ndian River A&B, Lokole II, Lokole II AA, Lokole III BB, CC, DD,EE, Mokoko Abana, Mondoni Marine, Rio Del Rey III A-E, Asoma, Bavo Betika, Kombo, Makoko and the latest is Bao South. I hope you do realize that most of the fields carry Oroko names. How wonderful is that?

In late 1970 the Rio Del Rey Basin reached a peak production of 158,000 barrels per day before declining in the mid 1980.

One can just imagine how Ndian division would have prospered if just $0.30 was set aside for her from each barrel of oil rigged from her land. Fortunately for the Cameroon government, she is going to be receiving $0.45 for each barrel that gets to port of kribi from the Chad –Cameroon pipe- line deal.

 Did the discovery of Crude Oil in Ndian division benefit her People?

NO. From 1964 to date, millions of barrels of oil have been pumped out of Ndian division but the population of that division has nothing to show for the Lord’s blessing. No Houston, TX as in the USA. No Port Harcourt as in Nigeria.

 Why have we not benefited?

The answer is simple. We have never made our voices heard, perhaps due to ignorance with regards the source of crude oil. Of the many persons I spoke with, during my research, only few were aware that Victoria (Limbe) has just the industry that refines crude oil rigged from Ndian division.

I am sure some of our previous political leaders were not ignorant. As legend has it, Honorable Nwanlipenja did ask our former President Amadou Ahidjo about oil money and he said “Nwanlipepe, you de ask moni for oya, na you mami oya.”

 The Bible states: “Seek and you will find, ask and it shall be given onto you, knock and the door shall be open on to you.” When we are quiet the government presumes we are satisfied.

Since our politicians could not make our voices heard, Oroko Cultural Association U.S.A. must make the Oroko voice heard NOW.

 We have a Government which only responds to those knocking on her door daily. That is why those who do not have the natural resources we have, have had most of the major roads in their provinces tarred.

Oroko to Kowa. Let us wake up from sleep and start a civilized fight for a better tomorrow so as to save future generations from this demeaning exploitation.

Permit me dive into another area of our God-given blessing: ‘The Tropical Rainforest.’