From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja
As the newly sworn-in Senator, Isaac Alfa, representing Kogi East Senatorial District resumes duty, he reiterated his desire to ensure Kogi State is listed as an oil producing State.
Speaking with journalists on Wednesday he said to achieve that he would sponsor a bill for the federal government to confer that status on the State.
Oil-producing States in Nigeria are states rich in oil and from where the federal government derives crude oil for revenue.
After his legal battles with his predecessor , Alfa was finally sworn into replace Attai Aidoko, by Senate President, Bukola Saraki, last week with barely two months and half for the 8th Assembly to wind down.
“I don’t know if I can achieve anything for my people in two months, even though I had bills and motions in the pipeline before I left. But even if I can’t push in anything again, I would like to draw the plight of Kogi East to the attention of the Federal Government.
“When I was here, myself from Kogi State, Senator Utazi from Enugu State and Senator Princess Oduah from Anambra State were going to co-sponsor a bill to make these three states declared Oil Producing Areas. It was sad that this wasn’t followed up after I left.
“There is so much for the Federal Government to benefit from. I am baffled that extraction of oil had not commenced in Odolu axis of Kogi East when the capped oil wells there is even greater than Anambra and Ibaji put together.
“The other sore point is the delay in the completion of the Green Refinery at Itobe which was inaugurated at the same time with that of Lagos. Lagos has stated operating I am told but that of Itobe is not progressing. Hopefully, I will get the Senate President’s cooperation to bring this up.”
The senator also wants the federal government to build more bridges over River Niger to create more links between the northern and the southern parts of Nigeria.
Specifically, he wants the government to construct bridges to link Idah- Agenebode, and Lokoja-Shintaku, both in Kogi state.
“My argument is that if River Thames has 290 bridges over it with at least eight major crossings in London alone, there is nothing wrong with the whole country having 20 bridges over Rivers Benue and Niger. The more we have, the better, safer,” he said.
He added that he would seek the Senate President’s cooperation in his clamour for the establishment of Maritime University in Lokoja to serve the interest of the North Central, North East, and North West zones.
On his return to the Senate, Mr Alfa thanked the Senate leadership for upholding justice, noting that his insistence to return was borne out of his desire to serve his people.
“The other day, someone asked me why I wasn’t sworn in much earlier despite my numerous court judgments. And I answered him that even if Senator Saraki had wanted to swear me in before now, he couldn’t have done it because God hadn’t given him the go ahead. I believe in pre-determination.
“There is a record here. I am told that in the history of the National Assembly, I am the first person to be sworn in twice and that I would go into the record. If that is true, I thank the Almighty God and I will ask the Senate president to give me a prize.”