Mkpoikana Udoma 27 July 2017, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt – The Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, has issued a 90-day ultimatum to multinational oil companies operating in the Niger Delta region to relocate their corporate and administrative headquarters to the region or face the wrath of the people.
IYC gives IOCs 90 days to relocate to host communities
The Oweilaemi Pereotubo-led faction of the IYC who issued the ultimatum in Warri, Delta State, said as long as the Ijaw nation was part of Nigeria, oil companies must comply with the presidential order by relocating to their host communities.
Factional President of the IYC, Mr. Oweilaemi Pereotubo, lamented that in developed climes, industries are sited in areas closest to their sources of raw materials, but in the case of oil and Niger Delta, the reverse was the story, as IOCs operate in the region while their magnificent high-rise buildings housing their headquarters were located in Lagos and Abuja.
Pereotubo regretted that since the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, in February ordered all multinational oil companies to relocate their headquarters to the Niger Delta, till date, no company has complied with the presidential directive, and there is no visible attempt by the presidency to enforce the order.
“After series of meeting, the IYC has resolved that as long as the Ijaw nation still remain part of Nigeria, the Oil Companies must comply with the presidential order by relocating their headquarters to their operational bases in the Niger Delta within 90 days (three months) beginning from the 12th day of July, 2017.
“We do not wish to reiterate that the failure to heed this ultimatum will have dire consequences.”
The IYC President further explained that over the years, monies that were supposed to accrue to the Niger Delta States and their people have been paid to Lagos State, thus boosting Lagos Internally Generated Revenues, and impoverishing the region.
“Relocating the headquarters will not only boost the revenue base of the Niger Delta States, it will also bring about employment opportunities thereby reducing youth restivenes in the region.
“Perhaps, Prof. Osinbajo was only trying to play to the gallery politically when he gave that order. We saw this in the parliamentary rascality exhibited by Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila on the floor of the House of Representatives when the matter came up some weeks ago. If the Acting President merely played politics with the issue, we say it too late because he has stirred the hornet’s nest.”
The Ijaw youth also reiterated the need for restructuring of the country on the basis of resource control and fiscal federalism, saying “the only thing acceptable to our people is the restructuring of the country along the lines of True/Fiscal Federalism and resource control. No more, no less.