Since the first official working tour of the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, in oil rich Niger Delta and his presidential directive to International Oil Companies (IOCs), to move their operational head offices to production states, nothing has happened.
Otherwise, there has been silence on the side of the federal government and corresponding quietness on the side of IOCs, but rising tension on the side of host communities for actions.
Several experts have continued to look at the issue from different perspectives.
According to Barr Thompson Oghenetega, “Mere presidential directive may not be enough to effect the multi billion naira project of relocation by IOCs.”
“I think the best bet for the federal government if it is really serious in the relocation directive is to simply prepare an executive bill on that and send to the National Assembly or see how it would include a related clause in the petroleum Industry Bill at the floor of the national Assembly.
Oghenetega argued that “The observed corresponding synergy of silence and inaction between the oil companies and federal government means a lot including lack of political will to cause action”.
Explaining more in an interview, Lagos based Public Affairs analyst, Victor Okhai said time has come for the federal government to match actions with words by way of sending executive bill to NASS.
He also cautioned on the government to rise up to the challenge of enforcing its directive to IOCs on relocating to Niger Delta to avoid resumption hostilities by militant groups.
Already, the Niger Delta Avengers’ (NDA), had threatened to resume violence should IOCs show no sign of relocation on or before November this year.
Okhai however, rollout advantages that will follow the presidential order if implemented to the letter.
Some of the gains include more life touching CSR by oil companies, massive rural development schemes and schools, better road networks, better development working relationship on mutual synergies between firms and host communities.
He also observed that the effective relocation will raise housing supply and industrial clusters that will gainfully employ youths.
The Public Affairs pundit argued further that IOCs relocation will boost multiplier effects leading to jobs creation both direct and indirect jobs in the Niger Delta.