Sunday, January 29, 2017 3:47 pm
The Ijaw Youth Council, (IYC), an NGO, on Sunday urged Shell in Nigeria to shelve plans to relocate its headquarters from Port Harcourt to Lagos.
The IYC in a statement issued in Yenagoa by its spokesman Eric Omare noted that the plan negates the policies of the Federal Government encouraging investments in oil communities.
Omare described the plan as “insensitive and provocative’’ at a time stakeholders were seeking to strengthen the economy of the region.
He challenged the oil firm to also move its oil blocs out of the region.
“This move by Shell is not only insensitive but capable of escalating the already volatile security situation in the Niger Delta region.
“While critical stakeholders are making frantic efforts to restore peace and security to the already volatile Niger Delta, the company is planning another move that would worsen the security situation in the region.
“The IYC is aware of the evil and selfish plan of Shell which is to substantially sell off its onshore assets, maintain only crude oil transportation and storage facilities and operate the lucrative EA and Bonga offshore oil fields located in the Niger Delta from Lagos by carrying its workers through helicopter on a daily basis.
“This plan clearly demonstrates the anti-community and Niger Delta nature of Shell.
“It was such anti-oil producing communities policies by Shell, Chevron, Exxon Mobil and other multinationals operating in the Niger Delta region that gave birth to the present restiveness in the Niger Delta region”, Omare stated.
According to him, the implication of the company relocating from the Niger Delta to Lagos is that the region will lose all the economic and other associated benefits that come with having its corporate headquarters in the region.
Omare said Niger Delta would not only lose revenue but even businessmen doing business with Shell had to move from the Niger Delta region to Lagos.
He noted that there were attendant negative economic effects.
“To this end, the IYC calls on Shell to halt the plan or be ready to completely move out of its offshore oil platforms located in the Niger Delta namely: EA and Bonga offshore oil fields. (NAN)