Port Harcourt — The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, says youths and residents of the Niger Delta must eschew restiveness, but work for peace and security as preconditions for oil multinationals to relocate to the region.
Slyva stressed that asking the oil companies to relocate without addressing the security concerns, would only escalate Nigeria’s cost of crude oil production, which according to him, is one of the highest among OPEC members.
The Minister said this at an interactive townhall meeting organized by the Bayelsa State Government and the Ministry of Petroleum Resources with chiefs, youths and other stakeholders in Yenegoa, Bayelsa State.
“We look at it from the perspective of cost. It will be cheaper for oil companies to operate from here because it is nearer from the operating areas.
“The only concern is that we have a responsibility to bring peace and security because that is another source of cost. If you don’t have peace and security and the oil companies move back here, then you add to the cost of oil production.”
He insisted that it would make sense to the oil companies to return if the environment is safe because it will be cheaper for them.
“They were here before. Shell was in Port Harcourt and Warri and most of other companies were here. They only ran away when insecurity took over the region.
‘It is time to bring back peace and security so that those firms can return. On our part as the Ministry we are not against the oil companies moving back.”
The Minister also assured that the Federal Government was willing to promote more investments that will create jobs and prosperity for Nigerians, while listing the Nigerian Content Tower as one of the top achievements of President Buhari’s administration.
In his remarks, Bayelsa State Governor, Sen. Douye Diri, who commended President Buhai for some of the federal projects ongoing within the state, pleaded with the Federal Government to commence the Nembe-Brass road.
Diri explained that all the projects being sited in Brass LGA, such as the Brass Fertilizer and Petrochemical Plant, as well as the 2,000bpd modular refinery, will become elephant projects if there was no road leading there.
He noted that Brass and Southern Ijaw LGAs are some of the few Local Government headquarters in the country that are not accessible by road, while pledging his readiness to ensure that all federal investments in the state are protected.