A motion seeking the relocation of headquarters of oil and gas companies operating in Nigeria and its regulators to states where they have dominant operations is before the House of Representatives.
According to the sponsor of the motion, Hon. Farah Dagogo, representing Degema/Bonny Federal Constituency from Rivers State, the motion has been submitted to the leadership of the House alongside another motion, urging the Federal Government to liberalize investment in solid minerals.
He explained that the motion on relocation is fundamental as it would afford the oil companies and its regulators to have a first-hand experience of ‘obnoxious and heinous policies’ they have visited on ‘oil-bearing communities and states’ that ‘now languish with devastation resulting from oil exploration activities’.
He expressed deep concerns that the activities of the oil companies have not only been detrimental to the environment where they operate but have also exposed the inhabitants of the affected communities and states to health hazards.
“Sadly, they have relocated their operational headquarters from these areas where they have committed loads of atrocities to supposed safe havens. Revenues, job employments, tax applicable to the states and other benefits that could be used to assuage those affected by these practices are rather hosted in cities far from their exploitations. As a representative of those affected by these injustices, they have asked me to speak and I have started the process and I’m confident my colleagues in the House will key into it because it is all about the people, ” he said.
Regulators of the Oil and Gas companies expected to be affected by the relocations include; Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, National Petroleum Investment Management Services, NAPIMS, The Products and Pipelines Marketing Company, PPMC, and Nigerian Petroleum Exchange, NIPEX.
He explained that the motion on liberalizing investment in Solid Minerals would enable the country to not only diversify from its mono economy status but create employment and revenues that could be a solution to the frequent borrowing to run the country’s budget.
”As a member of the National Assembly, it is our duty to also speak for Nigerians. This is about the people, the people come first before political parties. That is what the motion on the need for the Government to liberalize investment in Solid Minerals is all about. Our focus should not be on only oil, we have gold, coal, iron ore, limestone, Bitumen and several others. If we tap from all of these, there will be supersonic economy boom. Massive employments, large scale investments and most fundamental, these incessant recourses to taking humongous loans to finance our budget will be fully addressed.
Earlier, Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) National Vice President, South-South, Comrade Louis Okeleke who paid the Lawmaker, a courtesy call, reminded him that his ascension from the State Assembly to the National Assembly was laced with huge expectations, especially from the South-South.
He encouraged the member to continually build on the enduring legacies he left at the State Assembly by pursuing impactful laws that would be beneficial to the people.
“We know of your capabilities and capacities, especially those of us from the South-South. I had the opportunity of observing you at close quarters when you were the House Committee Chairman on Education in the Rivers State House of Assembly and your performances speak volume. We expect that you would do even better at the National Assembly, “he added.
Others on the entourage included; Comfort Otuene, (Chairman, PASAN, Rivers State), Amonia Amaso, (Secretary PASAN, Rivers State) and Siso Simeon (Ex Officio, South-South Zone)