• Tony Igele

Reps wade into Shell’s planned relocation from Rivers

The Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara on Thursday called for a thorough investigation into the planned relocation of the head office of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) from Rivers.

The speaker said this when he inaugurated an Ad-hoc committee mandated to investigate the planned relocation of the company.

Represented by the Deputy Majority Whip of the House, Pally Iriase (Edo-APC), Dogara said that improved relationship between the Federal Government and the Niger Delta region was crucial in addressing some economic challenges confronting the country.

Yakubu Dogara

“This is because the Niger Delta region sits atop oil wells where much of our revenue as a nation is derived from.

“Relocation by the SPDC is said to be based on security concerns today. This has generated outcry and agitation by the people and if we as a House do not address it, it may escalate and result to violence and insecurity,’’ Dogara said.

The Speaker added that the onus lied on the Federal Government and the house to ensure that justice on Niger Delta region was not denied. He, therefore, urged the committee to come up with a report that will be fair and forestall any crisis in the Niger Delta region.

In his welcome address, the Chairman of the Ad-hoc Committee, Rep Ishiaka Ibrahim, (Ogun-APC) said that the committee would meet with all the relevant stakeholders to address the matter.

He said the committee would be fair to all sides.“We shall engage all relevant stakeholders in order to come up with report and recommendation that would stand the test of time.

“We shall also consider all factors surrounding the conception of the decision of the SPDC’s planned relocation from Port Harcourt,’’ Ibrahim said.

It would be recalled that the House on January 26, adopted a motion sponsored by Rep. Kingsley Chinda (Rivers-PDP), to set up an ad-hoc committee to prevail on Shell’s planned relocation from Port Harcourt.

Chinda expressed concern that several youths were already protesting the planned relocation which will further escalate militant activities in the region.

The youth restiveness, Chinda said, would affect the Nigerian economy that was already experiencing recession due to low crude oil output.

The House, therefore, called on the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu and the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NPIMS) and Shell to suspend the planned relocation and allow it to intervene.

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