allAfrica.com: Delta Assembly Probes Shell's Planned Relocation to P-Harcourt (ShellNews.net) Posted 29 Jan 05
MEMBERS of the Delta State House of Assembly, yesterday, passed a resolution asking its Committee on Oil and Gas to investigate the alleged relocation of Shell Petroleum Development Company from Delta State to Rivers State. It expressed fears that the movement might spark off another round of restiveness in the Warri area.
The Oil and Gas Committee was given a deadline of two weeks within which to report back to the House with its findings. The resolution followed a motion moved by member representing Warri South II Constitutency, Mr. Dennis Omovie which read thus: "That this Honourable House sets up an ad-hoc committee to investigate the alleged movement of SPDC except her production department from Delta State to Rivers and report back within two weeks to enable this House take a firm position on the likely socio-economic implication of such action on governance, the government, the good people of Delta State and, of course, the operations of SPDC throughout the length and breadth of our dear Delta state."
The motion was unanimously supported except by the member representing Sapele Constituency, Mr. Ojaife Odebala who maintained that the House had no such powers as the issue of oil exploration activities does not fall under its purview, as it is a federal matter.
However, speaking to Vanguard later in an interview, mover of the motion, Mr. Omovie said "what I have done is a stop-gap arrangement to tell the people that the state is handling the matter and should therefore not take laws into their hands."
Continuing, he said "the relocation will have a far-reaching effect on the social life of Deltans. You know that Warri as it were has had a prolonged social problem which caused the state a lot of money and time to bring peace back. So our expectation now is that peace has returned and the multi-national companies operating there should therefore please assist the Delta State Government to sustain the peace effort and not by doing things that are capable generating trouble.
"Again, if they (SPDC) move, definitely the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) paid to the state government will be affected because the projection in the 2005 Budget upon which it was passed will not be met, so the effect will be far-reaching," he emphasised.