Moving IOC headquarters from Niger Delta exacerbates social injustice – Onyefuru: urges R/S Govt to float state-owned refinery


By Tina Amanda

The Chairman Trade Union Congress (TUC) Rivers State, Comrade Ikechukwu Onyefuru, has described the continuous moving of International Oil Company’s (IOC’s) headquarters to other states, as a blow to Rivers State and the entire Niger Delta region that bear’s the brunt of environmental degradation and economic loss.

Onyefuru who disclosed this to a journalist in Port Harcourt while commemorating the Workers Day celebration, appealed to Governor Fubara to use his good offices to compel International Oil Companies (OICs) not to move their headquarters out of the State.

He emphasized that such actions would unfairly impact the Niger Delta people, who have endured significant hardships due to various levels of pollution.

“We want to appeal to His Excellency to ensure IOCs who are divesting their interest in Nigeria do not move their headquarters away from the Niger Delta that will be injustice of the highest order and unfair to all Niger Delta people who have suffered from environmental pollution.

“We have suffered lots of pollution, impact on our mental health. When they remove headquarters from the region they are indirectly telling us that they are not appreciative of the fortune made from our land.

“We will continue to talk till the right thing is done.”

Comrade Onyefuru also urged the state government to float its own state railway and refinery as it will increase the internally generated revenue (IGR) of the state.

“Following the Constitutional Alterations of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) federal government removed the Railway from the Exclusive List to the Concurrent List, making it possible for states to invest in railway infrastructure.

“We want to call on His Excellency as a business partner to first of all consider approaching the federal government to secure the necessary license that will enable Rivers State to float its own railway company by so doing Rivers State will open up to all rural areas, movement of people goods and services will improve.

“The cost of transportation will become more affordable and more internally generated revenue will accrue to the state. As you are aware his Excellency two weeks ago informed us that the state IGR has grown from eleven billion naira monthly to about twenty-seven billion.

“We believe very strongly that the rail network across the urban and rural areas of Rivers State will enhance economic activities, and further provide employment opportunities.

“We also feel that with the issuance of a crude oil refining license by NNPC Ltd to investors, Rivers State can acquire such a license and proceed to construct a state-owned refinery to further support the state government’s economic growth initiatives and employment opportunities.

“We believe very strongly if His Excellency embarks on some of these initiatives we are suggesting the IGR of Rivers State in the next four years have the capability to grow from twenty-seven billion to upward of fifty billion and that is why we are suggesting very strongly for Rivers State government to think investing in rail business since the federal government have lifted the ban”.

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