Major oil companies including Chevron and ExxonMobil are keeping mum on the growing calls for the relocation of their main offices to the Niger Delta where they carry out their exploration and production activities, The Punch reports.
Stakeholders and groups in the Niger Delta have called for major oil firms to relocate their head offices to the main areas of operations in the region. Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo recently also ordered major oil companies to relocate their main offices to the Niger Delta as part of measures to curb the unrest in the region. Chevron Nigeria Limited, ExxonMobil, Total E&P Nigeria and Nigerian Agip Oil Company, the subsidiary of Italian oil major Eni, have their head offices in Lagos. Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited, which has its corporate headquarters in Port Harcourt, was recently said to be planning to relocate to Lagos.
The Head of Energy Research, Ecobank Group, Dolapo Oni, said, “I don’t think it is the best idea. I think we should explore other creative solutions rather than asking them to move their headquarters to the Niger Delta.” However, the Rivers State’s Information Commissioner, Mr. Austin Tam-George, was quoted by AFP to have said in a statement that if the oil companies moved their headquarters to the Niger Delta, they would be more responsive to the grievances of the people with a view to addressing them.