Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria on Thursday denied nursing any plan to relocate its operational headquarters from Port Harcourt in Rivers State.
The company said in a terse reaction by its spokesperson, Precious Okolobo, that it had not taken any decision to move away from Port Harcourt.
“I can confirm that SPDC (Shell Petroleum Development Company) is not relocating its headquarters,” Mr. Okolobo said in a text message in a response to enquiries by PREMIUM TIMES.
There have been reports that the company was planning to leave Port Harcourt following a series of attacks on the facilities of multinational oil companies operating in the Niger Delta region by armed militant groups.
Allegation of the plans became public following a motion sponsored by eight members of the House of Representatives led by Kingsley Chinda (PDP-Rivers), which was unanimously adopted by members through a voice vote, calling for Shell to reconsider its decision.
The lawmakers urged the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, and the National Petroleum Investment Management Services, NAPIMS to intervene and prevail on Shell to suspend the decision, described it as a threat to national security.
Mr. Chinda, who said the Niger Delta region had witnessed increased divestments and relocation by Shell on reasons bordering on high operational costs, revealed the company had on September 15, 2016 requested for tenders for the construction of a supply base service.
He blamed the major cause of militancy in the region on alleged abandonment by oil companies as well as the high level of poverty and degradation of the environment.
The Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Dakuku Peterside, had also joined in appealing to the Shell to reconsider its decision on the issue.
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