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‘Only an Act’ll compel IOCs to relocate to Niger Delta, not youths’ threats, others

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Contrary to feelings in some quarters that the presidential directive issued by Acting President Yemi Osibanjo during his peace tour of the Niger Delta region will compel the International Oil Companies (IOCs) to move, legal experts have argued that only a bill passed by the National Assembly and assented by the president on the matter will do the magic.

On the other hand, lawyers who spoke to our correspondent on the matter on Wednesday called on Niger Delta Youths to take their protests to the National Assembly and call on lawmakers to include relocation of IOCs head offices in the Host Community and related issues of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) which is currently receiving attention after the passage of the PIGB.

The threats by Niger Delta youths were reenacted on Monday in Abuja vide a protest against the continued refusal of IOCs to relocate their corporate headquarters to areas of their operations.

The youths under the aegis of Pan Niger Youth Leadership Forum (PANDYLF), which accused the multi-national operators of arrogance, also said that their actions amounted to disregard for the presidency.

According to the National President of the forum, Famous Daunemigha, “Enough of this show of arrogance by oil producing companies. They cannot continue to have their head offices located outside of where their operations are taking place. This is unacceptable to us the youths in the region”.

He said the issue of youth restiveness in the region should not be yardstick or excuse for the oil companies not to relocate to the region, arguing that the issue of restiveness was something that just started in the region and would be nip in the bud.

Continuing, PANDYLF leader noted that “if the President has made pronouncement to the IOCs, to relocate their headquarters, I think that that pronouncement should be respected by the various operating companies in the Niger Delta. And even our constitution also made a provision that the oil companies should have their headquarters operating around the areas they are operating in and I think that is also very important”.

Daunemigha, who was also a former Deputy President of Ijaw Youths Council (IYC), said the youths would not only support, but would provide necessary support in the area of security for the oil multinationals relocating their headquarters to the region.

With the exception of Shell, all other IOCs have their operational head offices outside the oil rich region.


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