The Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie Omo-Agege, said on Monday the alleged plans by the Nigerian Gas Company to relocate its headquarters from Ekpan, near Warri in Delta State, to Abuja had caused tension in the oil-rich area.
In a statement by Yomi Odunuga, his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Omo-Agege said he drew the attention of Nigerians to the issue following the anxiety and tension that the alleged planned relocation had generated.
He also said some youths in the area, early in the year, staged a peaceful protest at the company’s headquarters in Ekpan.
The lawmaker said he spoke on the floor of the Senate the planned relocation of the headquarters of the NGC should be dropped because its exit could affect the development of the area.
Omo-Agege said the clarification became necessary despite a statement by the General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mr Ndu Ughamadu, which assured people in the area that neither the NGC nor any of its other subsidiaries would be relocated from their areas of operation.
The statement read, “ There has been widespread anxiety among stakeholders in Niger Delta over the alleged plans for the relocation of the NGC; it has been on the front burner for many months before the Deputy President of the Senate drew (public) attention to it during the ministerial screening.
“The issue, it must be stressed, was the focus of a peaceful youthful protest by Niger Delta youths earlier in January this year on the premises of the NGC and this disrupted the activities of the gas firm until an official from the Delta State Government and other stakeholders intervened and normalcy was restored.”
It added, “It is clear to us that Senator Omo-Agege has spoken from a position of informed knowledge and it is very unfortunate that the NNPC would rather deploy such indecorous and intemperate language to dismiss efforts to douse anxieties, especially in a matter that touches on the economic prosperity of Niger Delta.”