Isoko Youths Demand Relocation of NNPC, Amnesty Office, IOCs to Niger Delta

Sylvester Idowu in Warri

The Isoko National Youth Assembly (INYA) has joined its voice to the growing calls for the relocation of Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), the Amnesty Office and head offices of International Oil Companies (IOCs) to the Niger Delta region.

The INYA, in a statement issued yesterday and signed by its Leader, Mr. Eniwake Orogun, said that the decision of the group was based on the fact that it supported the federal government’s move to relocate the Department of Banking Supervision of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the head office of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) from the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to Lagos State.

It stressed that for the government should in same spirit, relocate the NNPC, IOCs, and the Amnesty office to the Niger Delta.

The group maintained that the decision to relocate the Department of Banking Supervision of the CBN and the head office of the FAAN from the FCT to Lagos State was long overdue, considering the administrative relevance it promised.

It, therefore, called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to take commensurate action to relocate the NNPC, Amnesty Office to the Niger Delta as well as put policies in place to compel the IOCs to do the same.

“We align with the federal government’s decision to relocate the Department of Banking Supervision of the CBN and the head office of the FAAN from the FCT to Lagos State. There is absolutely nothing out of place to decentralize functions and departments of the government given the federal structure of the nation and the expansive information technology available today.

“Lagos State, for instance, hosts the head offices of more than 97 per cent of the banks in Nigeria. Also, You can fly from Lagos to anywhere in Nigeria giving it that pivotal status for both domestic and international flight routes and if for administrative effectiveness and efficiency, the headquarters of FAAN needs to be there, it is most welcomed,” the group stated.

The INYA therefore, urged the federal government to apply the same principles and swiftness to relocate the NNPC and Amnesty Office to the Niger Delta, adding that “we want them to also put policies in place to compel the IOCs and allied companies to relocate their corporate headquarters to the Niger Delta where the drilling activities take place.

“It is an aberration that the head offices of oil companies are outside the Niger Delta, denying the people both the employment and developmental benefits derivable from having these natural resources in their environs.

“The Niger Delta is the epicenter of oil exploration in Nigeria which has made it a principal economic contributor to the federation.

“The revenue on which the national budget is predicated is sourced from the oil and gas exploration in the Niger Delta. So, a call for the relocation of the administrative seats of these critical resources to the very place where they are explored is not only in the best interest of the people but also to the nation as a whole,” INYA stated.

The group noted that a relocation of the IOCs and other relevant agencies that have to do with the development of the Niger Delta would also help in assuaging the feelings of exploitation and neglect of the people whose lands have been taken away from them, suffer the pollution and environmental degradation arising from oil exploration activities.

INYA maintained that though there have been agitations and threats against the planned relocation from some quarters, there will be no consequences if the federal government relocated the CBN and FAAN and allied parastatals to Lagos State for effectiveness and efficiency.

“How does relocating an agency of government for efficiency and effectiveness threaten northern political and economic viability as asserted by the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum? How many bank headquarters are in Abuja?

“The truth is nothing will happen if the government goes on with its plan. The sky will not fall because a body is bent on clogging the wheels of progress. In any case, a former CBN governor, Mr. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, and many others from same region as the AYCF have seen the bigger and better picture and have aligned themselves with the decision of the federal government,” it concluded.

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