By Kingsley Okoye
Abuja – The Senate on Tuesday urged International Oil Companies (IOCs) to relocate their headquarters to their former base in the Niger Delta region.
Chairman, Senate Committee on Ethics, Previlages and Public Partitions, Sen. Ayo Akinyelure (PDP Ondo), made the call in Abuja at a meeting with Peace Development, Security and Humanitarian Rights Association of Niger- Delta (PDSHRAND).
The IOCs were advised to relocate their corporate headquarters from Niger Delta region to Lagos and Abuja following kidnapping and other forms of restiveness in the region.
Akinyelure, while making a remark at the meeting said: “All the international oil companies must relocate their headquarters to the area where they operate so that the state governments can get their tax to improve their Internally Generated Revenue( IGR).
“So that people will get employment because their operational bases are currently located in Lagos.
“We are aware that their headquarters are either moved to Lagos or Abuja.
“The people in the Niger Delta want you to relocate to Niger Delta so that their state governments can collect their tax for the development of their states.
“The people of Niger Delta wants you back to the region.”
He urged the multinational oil companies to apply the local content laws on their employment scheme.
Sen. James Manager (PDP Delta ) said of a serious concern to Niger Delta residents was the group’s demand for relocation of the headquarters of the IOCs to the region.
He said: ”Most of the headquarters of the international oil companies are located outside the Niger Delta areas.
“So, I don’t know whether those representing the oil companies here are competent to speak on it at this occasion, otherwise it is a very serious matter that Niger Delta residents are frowning at.
“I hope and pray that it wouldn’t degenerate into something else subsequently.
“In the first place you were there before something forced you out, we are aware that it was the unrest in the Niger Delta that forced them out of the region to relocate to somewhere else but there is peace in the region as we speak.
”Niger Delta is not like the Northeast, peace has since returned to the region. So,why are you still outside the region.
” We can no longer tolerate that,you need to relocate to Niger Delta.”
Earlier in his submission, Secretary General of PDSHRAND, Mr Lucky Ohwahwa among other issues, called for the inclusion of indigenes in the employment schemes of the IOCs, provision of electricity, establishment of youths, women acquisition training centres in the Niger Delta region.(NAN)