River State governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has called on international oil majors to locate their headquarters to the Niger Delta Region where they drill oil to sustain the economy of the country.
Speaking during the end of the year party and 60th Anniversary of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) in Port Harcourt yesterday, Governor Wike said that it was unfair that oil majors drill oil in the Niger Delta, only to pay taxes in other states.
“You find this region comfortable to drill oil and generate revenue, which sustains the entire country. But when it comes to the location of your headquarters, very many excuses emerge. Those who talk about insecurity in the Niger Delta forget that they are secure enough to work on oil fields in different communities. This level of injustice is not good for any country. I hear that majority of your workers receive their salaries in Lagos and Abuja, with their taxes deducted at those locations. We want you to return to our states and energise our communities with your presence.
“I am interested in the revenue that will accrue to this state and other Niger Delta states by the presence of your headquarters. I am an unrepentant Niger Delta man. Therefore, I will continue to advocate for our progress”, he told the staff of Shell.
The governor said that despite the negative politics against the region, the headquarters of the oil majors will eventually come to the Niger Delta.
He said: “If this oil was in the North or in the West, would the headquarters of the oil majors be located in the Niger Delta? Certainly not.”
Commenting on the 2019 general elections, Wike urged the workers to participate in the process to ensure the emergence of quality leaders who will rescue the country.
He commended the staff of SPDC for keeping the company afloat despite the numerous operational challenges.
The Managing Director, SPDC Nigeria Ltd, Osagie Okunbor commended the Rivers State governor for his commitment to creating the right operational environment in the state.
Mr Okunbor thanked Wike for working with stakeholders to ensure that a major shell facility closed for one year is opened through peaceful means.
He stated that SPDC is already out of the woods through the hard work of her staff.