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Fresh twist has engulfed the hitherto presidential order given to all International Oil Companies (IOCs) to relocate to Niger Delta as a presidential source on Monday, upturned the order handed down by Vice president Yemi Osinbajo when he toured the oil region last year on acting capacity.
The presidential source which spoke to The Guardian averred that “The media misconstrued the vice president’s statement. What he meant was that for operational reasons, it is important oil companies have a strong base in the Niger Delta region.”Of course, the Federal Government cannot give such directive to private companies.”The VP made a suggestion. It wasn’t a directive as it was portrayed.”
He maintained that it was no longer fashionable to cite security reasons by IOCs which hitherto hinged the siting of their headquarters outside the zone on insecurity, adding that the situation had improved significantly in recent time.
However, in what looks like a follow up, several corporate communication chiefs of IOCs who barred their minds on the matter argued that their external communications and business networks were more efficient in Lagos, the nation’s commercial nerve.
They equally argued that the sector’s regulator and investment vehicle, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), are in Lagos.
One of the corporate chiefs argued that “The financial framework of the country in terms of investment and commercial banking is very standard in Lagos compared to the Niger Delta. This is critical to our business.”
Besides, spokesperson for one of the leading IOCs raised another strong argument, saying “If anyone must relocate to the Niger Delta, it should be Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), which has the major stake in most of the oil mining licences in the region. But the NNPC rather has its head office in Abuja, and no one is calling for its relocation to the Niger Delta.”
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