22 July 2015, Port Harcourt – River State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has charged oil companies to carry out more developmental projects in their host communities.
Wike gave the charge on Tuesday when he received the Country Chairman and Managing Director of Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria, Mr. Osagie Okunbor, and other management staff at the Government House in Port Harcourt.
The governor expressed the need for oil companies in the state to have robust relationship with their host communities.
He said, “You don’t have to do things out of compulsion and out of threat because that is not the way it is supposed to be.
“I think that if we have a robust relationship, it is important to look inwards and see how you will be able to solve problems that are not much.”
The governor stated that giving priority to their corporate social responsibilities would go a long way in soothing the nerves of the people and at the same time, provide conducive environment for them to carry out their operations.
He challenged the multinational oil firm to include indigenes in its divesting plans and sale of its onshore wells, adding that the state has individuals with technical and financial capacities to acquire some of the oil wells.
Expressing the need for Shell to partner with the state government in providing infrastructure, Wike assured his guests that government would provide the enabling environment by beefing up security to make sure that everybody doing business in the state were protected.
Assuring them of efforts to assist the federal government in tackling the issue of oil theft, Wike disclosed that plans were in top gear to deliver the two armoured surveillance helicopters purchased by the state government.
“We believe that when they come in, Shell will partner with us to see how those armoured helicopters can be utilized to check oil theft,” the governor added.
In his remark, Shell Managing Director lauded the governor for creating a conducive environment for the company to do business.
Okunbor explained that with the firm’s headquarters located in the state, it was necessary for Shell and the government to enjoy a long-lasting relationship.
Lamenting the rise in oil theft, he called on the state government to assist in arresting the menace and also ensure development in communities of operations.