23 March 2012, Sweetcrude, PORT HARCOURT – Rivers State governor, Mr. Chibuike Amaechi, has urged oil multinationals in the country to relocate their headquarters to states that produce the oil to create employment and development opportunities for the people in the oil-rich region.
Speaking at a stakeholders’ roundtable discussion on the Niger Delta, organised by the Embassy of The Netherlands, in Port Harcourt, Governor Amaechi expressed disappointment that most oil companies were located outside states they extract the oil from.
He said: “When you are going to discuss issues on Niger Delta, you must also put on the table the fact that 60 to 80 per cent of the oil companies are located outside where they extract the oil from. I asked Agip Oil Company that same question two or three weeks ago when I met with them, and I said, you are transferring your workers from Port Harcourt to Abuja.
“Shell has that same problem. Shell also has a company called SNEPCO. They say they are extracting oil from offshore. Where is the offshore located? Behind Andoni Local Government Area of Rivers State.
“Total, for instance, has no business having its headquarters outside the Niger Delta. Mobil has no business outside the region when the huge investment Mobil has is in Akwa Ibom State.”
He added that it was the responsibility of government and development partners to provide legitimate means of livelihood for the people, where they extract the oil and gas from.
“If we are going to address sustainability of development, before you talk about good governance, you must talk about food. We must focus on providing food and providing food is not going from house to house and say take food from us, we are not socialists, it is providing an economic environment that allows a man to exploit his natural resources and his ability at seeking employment and get same,” he said.