Ijaw youths warn Shell over planned relocation of headquarters to Lagos

PHOTO:AFP

PHOTO:AFP

The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) has condemned and described as insensitive and provocative the plan by Anglo-Dutch multinational oil company, Shell to move its corporate headquarters from Port Harcourt, in the Niger Delta region to Lagos, south west Nigeria.

The body warned the oil giant to halt what they described as its evil and anti-Niger Delta plan or be ready to completely move out of its offshore oil platforms located in EIA and Bonga.

A statement by IYC spokesman, Barrister Eric Omare, said it was disheartening that while critical stakeholders are making frantic efforts to restore peace to the volatile region, the company was making plans to worsen the security situation.

Industry watchers said the implication of Shell relocating its corporate headquarters from the Niger Delta to Lagos was enormous as the Niger Delta region would lose all the economic and other associated benefits that come with having a corporate headquarters in the region.

Not only that the Niger Delta states would not only lose revenue but even businessmen doing business with Shell had to move from the region to Lagos with the attendant negative economic effects.

Bayelsa State chapter Chairman of the Civil Liberty Organization (CLO), Nengi James, said such plan by the oil company would have a far reaching implication in the economic fortune, warning that the region will not tolerate it.

He said such move would be a slap on the Niger Delta people, especially doing at a time the people are calling on oil companies whose headquarters are elsewhere to come back to the region.

“We are calling on the Federal Government and the oil company to desist from such plan because it will engineer and re-create another conflict which the federal government cannot manage.

“As far as I know Shell is still running its operations in the Niger Delta they are still running their oil facilities in the Niger Delta, either in the sea or ocean which are very close to the jetties of the host communities, they are also running their gas plant in Bonny.

“So if they know what they are doing, the social-economic effects of what they want to do, I think it will be very grievous and Niger Deltans will not take it lightly.” IYC said the move by Shell was not only insensitive but capable of escalating the already volatile security situation in the Niger Delta region.



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