Seriake Dickson, governor of Bayelsa state, says oil blocks in the country are “ancestral properties” of the Niger Delta.
Dickson said this at the foundation laying ceremony of Aziken Petroleum Refinery project at Obunagha Gbarian, Yenagoa, the state capital.
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo laid the foundation for the project which is expected to take off in 2019.
Calling on the federal government to consider the region while allocating oil blocks, Dickson said the demand by the Niger Delta to own more oil blocks is a “legitimate” one.
“We are waiting for the oil blocks, what the Nigerian government sits down and calls oil blocks are in fact and in truth the ancestral properties of the Niger Delta,” the governor said.
“They are pieces of our ancestral properties given away at our expenses. We are not saying others should not be included. But if we are not included, it will be wrong.
“We are yet to see the demands by the federal government that oil companies should relocate to the Niger Delta.
“I don’t know of any business which justifies pipelines crisis crossing several areas for building refineries while they haven’t built refineries from the source of crude oil.
“In all the all-producing areas around the world, the activities of those companies are located where the resources come from. We must examine our own conduct and what we do.”
Dickson also said such investments like the refinery project will “take off all the stress and pressures on us”.
“I’ve signed the certificate of occupancy for 99 years in line with the Land Use Act,” he said.
“I do this every week and one of the first things I did when I came to office was to liberalise land.”