The Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, has applauded President Goodluck Jonathan for the relocation of the fabrication of Egina Floating Production Storage and Offloading, FPSO, vessel to Agge in Bayelsa.
The $500 million project had earlier been slated for LADOL fabrication yard in Lagos but was controversially ordered for relocation by President Jonathan earlier this month. The directive also instructed industry operators to move oil and gas cargoes to only ports in Warri, Calabar and Onne, nearer to the Niger Delta where the projects are to be sited.
In a statement issued in Yenagoa on Sunday, Eric Omare, the IYC Spokesman said the directive made economic sense and was in tandem with the Nigerian Content Act, 2010.
“The IYC and indeed the Niger Delta people back the directive of President Jonathan to move the fabrication of oil and gas materials to the Niger Delta where the eventual job is to be done.
“This is not only in line with the requirement of the local content law but is also makes so much economic sense.
“It is common knowledge that Lagos is highly congested and there is need to move some class of cargoes especially oil and gas materials to ports within the Niger Delta region where the oil facilities are located.
“We consider the opposition to the Presidential directive and the attendant media propaganda as an insult on Niger Delta people,” Mr. Omare stated.
Mr. Omare also said all the oil companies operating in the Niger Delta region have their head offices in Lagos to the detriment of the Niger Delta economy, even when, he said, existing laws stipulate they should be domiciled in the Niger Delta.
He said that henceforth, Niger Delta residents would take steps to ensure that any oil company without its headquarters in the Niger Delta region would not be allowed to operate in the region.
The IYC frowned and condemn an ex-parte order of the federal High Court asking that the relocation be suspended.
“We wonder how the federal High Court would hurriedly grant such an order without giving opportunity to other parties to present their own side of the case.
“We question the swiftness of the order and call on the National Judicial Council to investigate the judge who granted the order.
“We want to make it clear that whether court injunction or no court injunction, we would not allow materials to be fabricated in Lagos and used to build oil platform in the Niger Delta region.
“Niger Deltans have been taken for granted for too long and we would no longer accept it,”the group said.