Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has reportedly asked all international oil companies operating in the Niger-Delta region but with head offices in other parts of Nigeria to relocate to the zone. It is believed that this is the first time such order would be given by the presidency since 1999 when Nigeria returned to democratic rule.
It is widely known that the oil companies carry out their operations in the region that is now seriously affected by spillage, but have their head offices in Abuja and Lagos. Osinbajo gave the directive at a town hall meeting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom which he visited as part of efforts to end the Niger-Delta crisis.
Osinbajo asked the minister of state for Petroleum, Dr Ibe Kachikwu to begin the process of engaging the international oil firms to ensure the directive is adhered to since it was the right thing to do. He revealed that the petroleum ministry was working with the oil firms working on illegal refineries to establish modular refineries to achieve the desired result.
He further noted that the ministry of Petrolum and the Presidential Amnesty Office are doing their best with state governments in the Niger Delta to the benefit of the youths in the area. Emphasizing that the government was committed on the Ibaka deep Sea port project, he added: “Indeed as a matter of fact, in the 2017 budget there is already a provision for the Ibaka port. There is already N1billion provision.
“It is a matter we take seriously to partner with the Akwa Ibom state government.” He also pleaded with the region to attract private investments in their domain in order to boost employment for the youths. In his earlier position, Governor Udom Emmanuel pleaded with the federal government to integrate Akwa Ibom indigenes, who were left out in the amnesty programmes.
He also pleaded for the reactivation of the Aluminum Smelter Company (ALSCON) at Ikot Abais local government area of the state to create more opportunities for the people. “With facilities we have in ALSCON, we cannot see it anywhere in Africa; from the services, communication to power generation you can create seven profits centres,” he said.