The federal government of Nigeria has declared that multinational oil companies can’t move their headquarters to the Niger Delta except peace can be guaranteed in the area.
This position was declared on Sunday by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva who noted that the oil companies need assurance that their investments would be safe before they can be compelled to move their headquarters as been demanded by the oil-producing states.
Sylva was reported to have said this in his speech obtained by journalists on Sunday in Abuja delivered after his induction as patron and conferment of the peace ambassadors award on him by the Niger Delta Non-Violence Agitators Forum.
The Minister, therefore, enjoined all stakeholders to work towards achieving and sustaining peace in the oil-producing Niger-Delta areas.
In his words, “What I must say here is that the core of your organization is non-violence and that is actually the essence of what we want in Nigeria.
“We must bring peace to the Niger Delta. It’s our duty to bring peace to the Niger Delta. Sometimes, we are worried that investment opportunities are not coming to the Niger Delta. But we must realize that it’s our activities that will determine whether these opportunities will come or not.
“Right now, we are saying that oil companies must move their Headquarters to the Niger Delta. But it’s our duty to ensure that the place is peaceful enough for the oil companies to move back there. If the place is insecure, you will actually believe that no oil company will agree to go there.
“That is why this organization is really very important in the Niger Delta. That’s why we must begin to also encourage those of you who are committed to making peace and only trying to assuage those who are making trouble. So I am really happy to be associated with this organization.
“What we need in the Niger Delta more than anything else right now is peace and I believe that if there is peace in the Niger Delta there will be prosperity. No investor would want to operate from far if there is peace because it actually cost him more, operating from a distance. So for us, I believe that if we can bring peace to the Niger Delta, these investors will not talk much.”
Meanwhile, the Federal Government has begun the partial payment of the N20,000 monthly stipend to the 774,000 beneficiaries of the Special Public Works programme.
The Minister of State, Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo (SAN), disclosed this in a statement on Sunday titled, ‘NDE commences partial payment of SPW stipends.’