September 12, 2020

NPDC blames IOCs’ unwillingness to relocate headquarters to areas of operation

Osinbajo, Tax

Professor Yemi Osinbajo

Professor Yemi Osinbajo

By Egufe Yafugborhi – Port Harcourt

The Niger Delta Peace Coalition (NPDC) has blamed the unwillingness among International Oil Companies (IOCs) to honour increasing pressures to relocate their headquarters to area of operations on Federal Government (FG) failure to first move industry regulators to the operating environment.

Years after Vice President, Yemi Osibanjo, joined the calls for the relocation of IOCs head offices to major locations where they exploit their oil and gas, most of the oil giants have continued to lead their top management mainly from Lagos.

Zik Gbemre, Coordinator, NDPC, told Vanguard in Port Harcourt, Rivers state, that, “Any government committed to the relocation of IOCs must lead by example by first relocating headquarters of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) and apex industry regulator, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to the Niger Delta.

“We are certain the IOCs and emerging indigenous oil and gas companies, servicing/contracting firms will promptly relocate headquarters to their operating environment and not remain in Lagos and Abuja if FG lead by example. So the problem is not really the IOCs but FG and its industry regulators.

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“With DPR saddled with approving downstream and upstream stakes, NAPIMS which regulates the commercial aspect of IOCs and oil indigenous companies both controlled from Lagos and the NNPC based Abuja, the majors would remain in Lagos and Abuja where the corporate action takes place.

“It is a fact that all major contracts in the industry are awarded through NAPIMS, based in Lagos. As such, every major oil and gas company wants their investments safe and secure close to those who regulate and manage the industry on behalf of FG.

“Even the few NNPC subsidiaries operating in the Niger Delta all have their Managing Directors (MDs) Offices in the NNPC Towers, Abuja, and work from there.

“That means all major decisions concerning the industry and the operations of the NNPC and its subsidiaries are taken in the said NNPC Towers.

He said, “Like in the United States, the headquarters and operational offices of oil and gas companies are located in Houston, Texas, not New York or Washington D.C, not even in Austin City in the Texas State capital.”

“Nigeria and the Niger Delta will be better off if FG takes a cue from former President Olusegun Obasanjo who had to relocate NPA from Abuja to Lagos and gave the ‘Ship House’ to the Nigerian Defense Headquarters because he reasoned Abuja without a commercially viable seaport was a misplaced host to NPA headquarters.”

Vanguard News Nigeria.