The Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) has blamed the Minister of State for Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva over his remarks that the International Oil Companies (IOCs) cannot move their head office to the Niger Delta region because of insecurity.
PANDEF declared that the reason given by Sylva was not only false, but offensive.
National Publicity Secretary of PANDEF, Ken Robinson, who disclosed this in a statement, said that such comment from a true son of the Niger Delta region was disappointing; stating that insecurity was not distinctive to the crude oil and gas rich region.
The statement reads, “It is being advanced by those who do not mean well for the Niger Delta region. They do not want the International Oil Companies to move back to the Niger Delta region and the reasons are obvious.
“It is, therefore, rather unfortunate that the Minister of State Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva, a bona fide Niger Deltan, is also echoing that vexing chorus. The question we would like to ask is whether insecurity is peculiar to the Niger Delta region. Are there no security issues in Lagos and the rest of the country?
“PANDEF recalls that the Minister of State Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva, reportedly made similar remarks when the NNPC Board led by himself, visited the Governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike, in Government House, Port Harcourt, in August last year.
“At that instance, he said IOCs would move their operational headquarters to the Niger Delta region when the security of the region improves. Ironically, the IOCs work and evacuate millions of barrels of oil, and gas, every day from the region without mention of insecurity.
“But they present the excuse of insecurity when it comes to the relocation of their operational headquarters to the region.”
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