Accommodate Indigenous Companies in Procurement of Shell Onshore Assets, Ijaw Youths Charge FG

Sylvester Idowu in Warri

The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Worldwide has warned consortiums to stay clear from procuring the onshore assets of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) in the Niger Delta region, particularly, those in the Ijaw areas, without the participation of indigenous companies and stakeholders.

IYC alleged that the current move by Shell in collaboration with the Federal Government of Nigeria and its regulatory agencies to sell its onshore assets in the Niger Delta region is against the Local Content Act of Nigeria

The Ijaw youths group warned that attempts to boycott their kinsmen in the procurement process for Shell onshore assets would be vehemently resisted by all means.

The spokesman of IYC, Binebai Yerin Princewill, gave the warning yesterday at a press conference held at Effurun, Uvwie Local Government Area of Delta State.

He said: “We strongly advise that these consortiums stay clear of this erroneous process midwifed by Shell to further embolden the mystery of the respective host communities that Shell is famous for their underdevelopment, the destruction of their environment, and abuse of stakeholders for the over 70 years of Shell’s oil and gas exploration in the Niger Delta.”

Princewill, who was flanked by Freedom Atigbi and Maebuye Nangi, IYC deputy president and secretary-general, and all members of the structure across the country, respectively, said: “Without mincing words, IYC is daring Shell and its collaborators to go on with this process without involving the local people whose areas these onshore assets are located and watch the grave negative impact these will cost the oil and gas industry.”

He warned that the Ijaw people cannot continue to be treated as slaves by eating crumbs, noting that any attempt to continue to treat their people as second-class citizens in the process will meet stiff resistance by any means necessary.

He added: “It is an insult to the sensibility of the Niger Delta stakeholders, particularly the Ijaw people, that after many years of agitation for resource control which has led to the loss of several lives and property, Shell in its usual antics wants to re-sign our people into modern day slavery in the oil and gas industry that has been the live wire of the Nigerian economy.

“More worrisome is the fact that this attempt is made in an era where the Ijaw nation is laced with capable and competent stakeholders that can afford some of these assets.”

The IYC urged the National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu, to quickly swing into action by advising President Bola Ahmed Tinubu rightly.

“We make bold to say that until our people are involved and given the first right of refusal to participate, we will advise the consortiums not to throw their money into the buying process as it will amount to a total waste of resources,” he said.

Princewill accused President Tinubu of allegedly disliking the Ijaws as reflected in the appointment of his cabinet members and other appointments, adding that the present move to sell Shell assets to consortium is a confirmation of the hatred for the ethnic group.

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