07 September 2018, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt — The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, has appealed to Niger Delta militants not to return to the creeks, to commence hostilities in the region over the failure of oil multinationals to relocate to their host communities.
Recall that a Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators had yesterday threatened to return to the creeks and resume bombing of oil facilities over failure of oil companies to relocate their corporate headquarters to their host communities as directed by the Federal Government since last year.
The Convener of the Coalition, General John Duku, in a statement yesterday had also said their resolve to resume hostilities in the region was also necessitated by the failure of President Muhammadu Buhari to give assent to the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill, PIGB, since it was passed by the National Assembly in March 2018.
But the National President of PENGASSAN, Comr. Francis-Olabode Johnson, speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony of PENGASSAN’s Multipurpose Event and Resource Center in Rukpokwu, Port Harcourt, said every stakeholder must work together in meeting the demands of the region.
Johnson who lamented that oil was the major source of the nation’s revenue, also urged the Federal Government to listen to the demands of the Niger Delta region.
According to him, “All IOCs operating in this country have an office here(Niger Delta), but relocating their corporate headquarters also depends on the collaboration of government because definitely, they (oil multinationals) will need land, they will need resources and they will need some waivers to do that.
“So definitely everybody must work together but not by threat. For the agitators, we want to appeal to them that they should not return to the creeks.
“For now, oil is our only major source of revenue, so we also need to appeal to the government that whatever is the demands of the region, whatever they (government) can do to make the place conducive and ensure that the relocation is a reality, they should please do.
On the proposed PENGASSAN’s Multipurpose Event and Resource Center in Port Harcourt, Johnson said the structure will be completed in 12months’ time and would serve as a training center for companies as well as generate employment.
He also added that the building after completion will not be managed by Pengassan, but will be handed over to credible business persons to manged and make returns to the union.
Also speaking at the event, the Vice Chairman of Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, Lady C. Agbara, pledged the council’s support to Pengassan on the project.
According to her, “Because you do this on our ground, our Chairman deemed it fit that I should be here. As a council, we are happy that you are going to build an event and learning center here, we are going to support you in any way we can. We know that people within and outside Rivers State will benefit from this project.”