By Emma Amaize, Regional Editor, South-South
The PAN-Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, has endorsed Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike that international oil companies, IOCs, operating in the Niger Delta, should stop using insecurity to justify failure to relocate its operational headquarters in the oil region, overturning the minister’s position. from the State of Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, who said that the multinationals would come when security improves in the region.
Wike had said: “They use the issue of insecurity to put us at a disadvantage and deny us our right. There is insecurity in the states of Lagos, Kaduna and Katsina. However, companies are not fleeing those states.
“The railway projects are not stagnant either. Multinationals are sometimes to blame because they instigate insecurity by paying militants and cultists to guard oil pipelines, and then they turn around to blame people. “
Governor Wike said this when Head Sylva and the management of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, including the group’s Managing Director, Mele Kyari, visited him at the Government House in Port Harcourt.
Coinciding with Wike, PANDEF national president, Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga (retired) said: “I have listened to the discussion that took place at Government House, Port Harcourt, as reported by a section of the media, when the board of the NNPC headed by the State Oil Minister Sylva visited Governor Wike.
“During the visit, the Minister of State said that international oil companies will move their operational headquarters to the Niger Delta region when security in the region improves and Wike disagrees with him.
“We agree with Wike that, perhaps, the apparent insecurity in the region is caused by the oil companies themselves so that they have an excuse to continue locating their headquarters outside the Niger Delta.
“They work and evacuate millions of barrels of oil and gas every day from the region without mentioning the insecurity, but they present the excuse of insecurity when it comes to the relocation of their operational headquarters in the region.”
He also complained about the abandonment of the Export Processing Zone, the EPZ and the Gas Revolution Industrial Park Project in Ogidigben in the Delta state in favor of the AKK Gas Pipeline from Ajaokuta to Abuja, Kaduna and Kano by the Federal Government .
He said: “The relocation of the floating dock from the Nigerian Maritime University, NMU, Okerenkoko, Delta State to Lagos and the cruel exclusion of oil-producing communities from participation in the oil and gas industry, including property of oil fields and marginal blocks are issues that cannot be hidden under the rug. “
Nkanga accused the South-South governors of not further delaying the establishment of a joint security team for the region, saying: “The Niger Delta is not inferior to any other region in the country. They should, therefore,
Do not delay any longer, whatever is necessary, must be done to ensure that a regional security team is established, to complement the efforts of the nation’s security agencies and improve the safety of lives and property not only of our people but everyone. Nigerians residing or doing business in the region. “
He also called on the governors to “revitalize the BRACED Commission to stimulate socio-economic cooperation and growth in the Niger Delta. The Niger Delta are not happy that our governors do not meet as often as they should to discuss the problems of the region. “