26 January 2017, Abuja – The House of Representatives, on Thursday urged the Minister of State for Petroleum, Mr Ibe Kachikwu to prevail on Shell not to relocate from Port-Harcourt, the River State capital.
The House called on the minister, the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) and Shell to suspend the planned relocation and allow it the opportunity to intervene.
This followed a motion by Rep. Kingsley Chinda, (PDP-Rivers) and seven other lawmakers, which was unanimously adopted by members through a voice vote. Moving the motion, Chinda described the planned relocation of Shell from Port-Harcourt as a threat to national security.
Shell engineer He explained that Shell had on Sept. 15, 2016 issued tender document advertising for tenders for the construction of a supply base service. Chinda further explained that the Niger Delta region had witnessed increasing divestments and relocation by Shell on spurious reason bordering on high operational costs.
He said that the major demand of the Pan Niger-Delta Forum (PANDEF) meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in Dec. 2016, was the return of the operational bases of all oil companies and oil servicing companies to the Niger-Delta help the restive youths.
The lawmaker added that the major cause of militancy in the region was the allegation of abandonment by operators in the oil sector and the consequential poverty and degraded environment.
He expressed concerns that several youths and stakeholders in the region were provoked and were already protesting the planned relocation which will further escalate militant activities in the region.
The youth restiveness, Chinda said will affect the Nigerian economy that was already experiencing recession due to low crude oil output.
The House therefore, set up an Adhoc Committee to investigate the planned relocation and its implications and report back within four weeks for further legislative action.