Mkpoikana Udoma 13 April 2017, Sweetcrude, Uyo – The Pan-Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, has reiterated the need for leading oil exploration and producing firm, ExxonMobil Nigeria, to relocate its headquarters to Eket in Akwa Ibom State, describing as cruel and unfair the company’s continued operation from Lagos.
Speaking at the General Assembly of PANDEF in Uyo, leader of the PANDEF, Chief Edwin Clark, also urged Chevron Nigeria Limited, CNL, to relocate its headquarters to Warri, Delta State, Nigerian Agip Oil Company, NAOC, to relocate to Bayelsa State, while Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria, SPDC, should relocate to Rivers State.
Chief Clark lamented that Lagos State gets revenue higher than budgets of some states from these companies while the host communities get nothing but polluted land and water.
He insisted that the spiral effects of their operations from Lagos also affects other businesses as buses and other forms of services are offered to the workers in the base, while more money goes to helicopters and house boats that convey the workers to and from work each day.
The PANDEF convener also warned that the demand for relocation was essential as it would stimulate the companies to wake up to their corporate social responsibilities to their host communities.
A communiqué issued at the meeting by Pan-Niger Delta Forum, called for immediate implementation of Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo’s directive that oil companies should relocate their headquarters to their areas of operation.
The forum also called on the Federal Government to review the 2017 budget to reflect the contribution of Niger Delta region to the nation’s economy through substantial allocation of funds for development, explaining that the 2017 budget as currently proposed is lopsided and skewed against the region.
Addressing the Forum, Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel, called for more collaborations between the Niger Delta governors in order to present a common position on issues of the exploitation and marginalisation of the region.
Governor Emmanuel said he wants the Niger Delta governors to be in the forefront of the struggle, adding that with more support from him and his colleagues, the efforts of PANDEF would yield more results.