Vanguard (Nigeria): Gov Odili urges Shell to clean up 250 oil spills in Rivers: “The governor said the oil spills will do great harm to the environment…” (ShellNews.net) 9 Nov 04
By John Ighodaro
Tuesday, November 09, 2004
PORT HARCOURT— Governor Peter Odili of Rivers State has asked Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) to clear up the over 250 oil spill cases across the state traced to the operations of the company. He stated this when the Managing Director of SPDC, Mr. Basil Omiyi led a team of the company’s management on a courtesy visit at Government House, Port Harcourt.
The governor said the oil spills will do great harm to the environment, and urged the SPDC management to liaise with the Ministry of Environment to help facilitate whatever that is hindering the process of rapid response to such cases.
Dr. Odili explained that relocation of SPDC headquarters from Lagos to Port Harcourt would enhance communication and relationship in issues of common interest, and assured them of the state's readiness to partner with the company in working together for the success of the investment.
He congratulated Mr Omiyi on his elevation and assured him of the support of the people and government of Rivers State towards the success of his tenure especially as he is a son of the Niger Delta, and reiterated his determination to live up to the expectation in providing infrastructural facilities that would accommodate the influx of persons in the decision of SPDC to relocate to Port Harcourt.
He said his government is providing infrastructures like light, water, drainage etc so that those interested can develop their own properties as quickly as possible, noting that the approach is to locate new residential areas away from the town to decongest the city centre.
Governor Odili disclosed that the Elelenwo Bridge which would be commissioned shortly would also help ease traffic flow in the city.
Earlier, SPDC Managing Director, Mr. Basil Omiyi said the courtesy visit was significant for two reasons, having been appointed into the top position as the first Nigerian and to lead the relocation of company headquarters from Lagos to Port Harcourt.
He commended the Governor for his effort in providing a conducive atmosphere for the company to take the most important decision in the Niger Delta, pointing out the enabling environment for the company to work earned us the landmark achievement in producing one million barrels of crude per day for 2004, the highest record for over 20 years.
He told the Governor that their relocation to Port Harcourt was necessitated by the presence of large infrastructural facilities, which have been built over the years, adding that the city would be able to accommodate their operations and influx of persons.
Omiyi also disclosed that his company has evolved a proactive sustainable community development approach to improve the living standard of host communities, as dialogue has remained the hallmark of resolving contending issues within the company and its stakeholders.