Relocate to Niger Delta, Senate tells International Oil Companies

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The Senate has asked international oil companies (IOCs) operating in the Niger Delta region to relocate their headquarters to their states of operation. Major oil and gas companies operating in the Niger Delta had relocated their headquarters and operational bases to Lagos, citing security concerns and restiveness in the oil-rich region.

But the Senate mandated its committees on Petroleum Resources Upstream; Downstream Petroleum Sector and Gas to liaise with the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and the Presidential Implementation Committee on the Petroleum Industry Act to facilitate the relocation. This followed the resolution passed during plenary on Tuesday after a lawmaker from Akwa Ibom State, Albert Akpan sponsored the motion.

There have been calls by the oil-producing states for the relocation of the IOCs and their subsidiaries from Lagos and Abuja to the south-south region. Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo had in March 2017, also lent his voice to the matter, noting that it will mitigate tension in host communities. Speaking on the motion during plenary, Akpan said the relocation of the IOCs to their host communities will facilitate development in the areas.

“The Senate is concerned that multinational and Nigeria oil and gas companies have over the years been operating from their respective operational bases until militancy and insecurity in the host communities in the Niger Delta became the order of the day,” he said.

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