*Backs call for removal of oil subsidy
By Deji Elumoye in Abuja
Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, has warned against the relocation of the headquarters of oil companies from the Niger Delta region.
Omo-Agege, in a statement on Tuesday by his Media Adviser, Mr Yomi Odunuga, also submitted that there was no need for Nigeria to continue with the multi billion Naira oil sudsidy regime.
The Deputy Senate President, according to the release, expressed dismay over the insistence of some multinational oil companies operating in the Niger Delta region on moving their headquarters elsewhere, with attendant job losses and therefore demanded their relocation to the region.
Omo-Agege was quoted as saying: “I have always taken the position that there is no need for us to continue with this subsidy; all we need to do is to fix the refineries.
“But, today, I have seen many people in the NNPC and elsewhere moving otherwise because they believe we ought to continue with this subsidy regime.
“I am from the Niger Delta and there are a lot of us who believe that most of the oil companies are doing business in that neighborhood ought to have their offices and their headquarters in that same neighborhood so as to provide employment opportunities “There is an issue that is raging right now in the Niger Delta and it has to do with the Nigerian Gas Company in Ekpan-Warri; they are also threatening to move their headquarters from Warri in Delta state to elsewhere.
“I am seeking a commitment today as the representative of the people of Delta Central that no ministerial nominee today will eventually superintend over the movement of Nigerian Gas Company elsewhere.
“I also seek a commitment that those companies that are doing business in the Niger Delta but have their headquarters elsewhere should come back to the Niger Delta area to provide jobs for our teeming youths,” the Deputy Senate President further said.
According to Omo-Agege, all that is needed to address the lingering issue of inadequate refined oil production to match local consumption, is to fix the country’s ailing refineries.
He also expressed surprise that in spite of obvious economic realities, some people within and outside the NNPC still continue to believe that sudsidy is the solution.