Senate Orders IOCs to relocate HQs to Niger Delta

…As group demands employment of indigenes

By Ignatius Okorocha

Senate on Tuesday urged international oil companies ( IOCs) to relocate its headquarters to their former base in the Niger Delta region.

Recall that Vice President Yemi Osinbanjo had recently directed the multinational Oil companies to relocate their headquarters to Niger Delta areas without further delays.

Also note that the IOCs were forced to relocate their corporate headquarters from Niger Delta region to Lagos and Abuja respectively because of kidnapping and other forms of restiveness in the Niger Delta region by the youth of the areas a couple of years ago.

Speaking yesterday in Abuja during a meeting with a group on the aegis of Peace Development, Security and Humanitarian Rights Association of Niger Delta,Chairman Senate Committee on Ethics Privileges and Public Complaints, Sen. Ayo Patrick Akinyelure ( Ondo Central) directed the international Oil companies to relocate their corporate headquarters to Niger Delta region without further delay.

According to Akinyelure,”All the International Oil companies must relocate their headquarters to he area where they operate so that the state governments can get their tax to improve their internally generate revenue( IGR).

“So that people will get employment because the power houses are currently relocated to Lagos. We are aware that their headquarters are either moved to Lagos or Abuja.

“The people in the Niger Delta want you to relocate to Niger Delta so that their state governments can collect their tax for the development of their states. The people of Niger Delta wants you back to the region.”

He urged the multinational Oil companies to read and apply their local content laws on the employment scheme saying” Read your local content laws and let apply to Nigerians in the Niger Delta region.”

In his contribution, Senator James Manager( Delta South) noted that of serious concern to the Niger Deltans which forms part of the group’s demand is relocation of the Headquarters of the IOCs to Niger Delta region.

He said:”Most of the headquarters of the international Oil companies are located outside the Niger Delta areas. So I don’t know whether those representing the oil companies here are competent to speak on it at this occasion otherwise it is a very serious area that the Niger Deltans are frowning at.

“I hope and pray that it wouldn’t degenerate into something else subsequently. I don’t know if representatives of the IOCs here are competent speak on this on behalf of their headquarters because the Niger Deltans as far as we are concerned hat is so ding that we can never be tolerated any longer.

“If you are operating in an area and your headquarters are outside your operating areas. In the first place you were there before with us something forced you out. We are aware that it was the unrest in the Niger Delta that forced them out of the region to relocate to somewhere else but there is peace in the region as we speak. Niger Delta is not like the North East, peace has since returned to region. So,Why are you still outside the Niger Delta. We can nolonger tolerate that,You need to relocate to Niger Delta.”

Earlier in his submission, Secretary,Peace Development, Security and Humanitarian Rights Association of Niger Delta, Comr. Lucky Ovigue Ohwahwa, had listed among other issues, the inclusion of indigenes in the employment scheme of the IOCs, provision of electricity,Establishment of youth/women Acquisition training and employment centers in every oil and gas producing local government areas and other basic social amenities to the host communities in the Niger Delta region.

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