OrderPaperToday- A member of the House of representatives, Mr Farah Dagogo, has called on international oil companies operating in the Niger Delta region to move their headquarters to their host states in order to enable them have a firsthand feel of the effect of their activities on the environment.
Mr Dagogo (Rivers, PDP), made this known at the National Assembly when executives of the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria, (PASAN), South-South Zone, paid him a courtesy visit.
He explained that he has already captured this position in a motion which will soon be presented before the House, alongside another one urging the Federal Government to liberalise investment in solid minerals.”
“The motion on relocation is fundamental as it would afford the oil companies and its regulators to have a first hand experience of ‘obnoxious and heinous policies’ they have visited on oil bearing communities and states that now languish with devastation resulting from oil exploration activities,” the lawmaker disclosed.
Furthermore, he expressed deep concerns that the activities of the oil companies have not only been detrimental to the environment where they operate but have also exposed the inhabitants of the affected areas to dangerous health hazards.
Dagogo continued, “Sadly, they have relocated their operational headquarters from these areas where they have committed loads of atrocities to supposed safe havens.
“Revenues, job opportunities, tax applicable to the states and other benefits that could be used to assuage those affected by these practices are rather hosted in cities far from their exploitation.
“As a representative of those affected by these injustices, they have asked me to speak and I have started the process and I am confident my colleagues in the House will key into it because it is all about the people.”
Regulators of the Oil and Gas companies expected to be affected by the relocation included the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), Products and Pipelines Marketing Company (PPMC) and Nigerian Petroleum Exchange (NIPEX).
He also spoke on his proposed motion which seeks to liberalise investment in Solid Minerals, saying it will support the country to not only diversify from its mono economy status but create employment and revenues that could be a solution to the frequent borrowing to fund the country’s budget.
“As a member of the National Assembly, it is my duty to also speak for Nigerians. This is about the people, the people come first before political parties. That is what the motion on the need for the Government to liberalise investment in Solid Minerals is all about. Our focus should not be on only oil; we have gold, coal, iron ore, limestone, Bitumen and several others.
“If we tap from all of these, there will be supersonic economy boom, massive employment, large scale investments and most fundamental, this incessant recourse to taking humongous loans to finance our budget will be fully addressed,” he stated.
Earlier, PASAN’s national vice president (South South), Comrade Louis Okeleke, reminded the lawmaker that his ascension from the State Assembly to the National Assembly was laced with huge expectations from the people of the region.
He encouraged the member to continually build on the enduring legacies he left at the State Assembly by pursuing impactful laws that would be beneficial to the people.
“We know of your capabilities and capacities, especially those of us from the South-South. I had the opportunity of observing you at close quarters when you were the House Committee Chairman on Education in the Rivers State House of Assembly and your performance speaks volume. We expect that you would do even better at the National Assembly,” he added.