The recent reported directive by the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, to international oil companies (IOCs) to relocate their headquarters to the Niger Delta region is being mired in confusion. Osinbajo was reported to have in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State early this year, directed the IOCs to relocate their headquarters to the oil-rich region, a directive that is yet to be complied with. Many prominent citizens from the region have since the reported presidential order clamoured for compliance by the IOCs.
However, responding to a question on the said directive at a stakeholders’ meeting in Abuja yesterday, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani said he had heard unofficially from many people, including chieftains of IOCs that the reported order was a mere rumour. The stakeholders’ meeting had in attendance top executives of IOCs, federal government officials, representatives of the nine oil producing states in the Niger Delta, and Presidential Amnesty Office, among others. However, none of the representatives could categorically speak on the reported presidential order.
Speaking at the forum, Usani who was the convener, said the forum had received a draft report on the work plan which would serve as a guide for the putting up and implementation of projects in the Niger Delta region in the next one and half years. “But today, we are able to see a draft report of the 2017 to 2019 work plan. We are not saying action plan or master plan, we are saying work plan. “That means by this plan_ our work will be guided. So we are not just formulating what we will do, we are now talking about how we will do, where we will do it, who will do it. That is why it is called a work plan for one and half years-between 2017 and 2019,” the minister said.
Usani explained that a reasonable point had being attained in the design, adding that “there are many plans, there are many programme. Here is not just another one.” He said: “Here, we have established input from the party doing development helping us to carry out careful analysis on which oil company is taking action where, which party is acting where to be able to align all our interest and make sure we eliminate all forms of duplication. “So first choice is tied to the interest of the organisation in carrying out development are going to be put up in the tabular form so as regard in can know exactly what or which company is doing well,” he said.