The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) on Tuesday said that the relocation of its operational headquarters to Warri, Delta State is impossible due to the subsisting insecurity in the area and other places in the Niger Delta region of the country.
The Royal Dutch company canvassed this position in a memorandum as well as oral presentation at a Public Hearing of the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream) on the the matter at the National Assembly.
The hearing was entitled: “Need for Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria SPDC to return its Operational Headquarters to Warri, Delta State”.
At the hearing, the company’s representative Dr. Steve Okwuosah said that militancy, pipeline vandalism and other criminal activities still hold sway in Warri and other parts of Niger Delta region and so would not allow for a smooth operation of company’s facilities in the area.
He said that the company had lost billions of dollars in its operations in the region owing to insecurity and called for the protection of its facilities by the relevant security agencies of the federal government.
Nevertheless, the House Committee, the Delta State Government as well as host communities of the companies operating in the region had insisted that the operational headquarters of the company must be relocated to Warri for economic reasons.
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Both the Secretary to the Delta State Government Hon. Festus Ovie Agas and Chief Edward Ekpoko Chairman Ijaw,Isoko and Itsekiri Leaders Forum had insisted that the company must relocate its operational headquarters to Warri for smooth operations.
They had insisted that militancy and pipeline vandalism had been reduced to the barerest minimum in the ares and so could not ‘ve been adduced by the company for failing to relocate to its operational headquarters.
Moreorover, Chairman of the House Committee Hon. Victor Nwokolo in a remark said that insecurity can no longer be adduced as reason for the non-relocation of the company to its operational headquarters.
He had insisted that the Delta State is now the investment destination for oil companies operating in the Niger Delta region of the country.
Other lawmakers as Hon.Daniel Reyeniju (Delta, PDP) Hon. Goodluck Opia (Imo, APC) and Hon.Toby Okechukwu(Enugu, PDP) blamed the federal and state governments for prevalence insecurity in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.
Reyeniju particularly lamented that the Delta State Government that has 55 percent stake in the company’s assets could not be adequately represented at the investigative public hearing.
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