Published On: Mon, Oct 23rd, 2023

Delta Govt, Shell  Open Talks On Relocation To Warri


LAGOS OCTOBER 23RD (URHOBOTODAY)-The Delta State Government has opened talks with the Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, on the return of the multinational oil conglomerate to Warri, which it fled, over 10 years ago,  citing insecurity in the oil city.

Governor Sheriff Oborevwori, who sealed a N78 billion contract for three  flyover bridges, cloverleaf and road expansion projects in Warri and  Effurun with construction giant, Julius Berger, last week, is behind the bold  initiative .

Already, SPDC , which relocated it’s western operational headquarters from Warri, in 2013, according to a dependable informant, has consented to bring back some of its departments back to Warri. 

The Commissioner, Oil and Gas in the state, Chief Vincent Oyibode, who led a Delta State- government delegation to a preliminary dialogue,  said that Governor Sheriff Oborevwori instructed him to undertake the assignment.

Vanguard learned that the SPDC team would soon hold a formal discussion with Governor Oborevwori  to deepen the negotiations,  and agreement on the company’s return to the state.

Oyibode, who shed light  after his budget presentation at the Ministry of Economic Planning, Asaba, weekend,  stated that Oborevwori assured the SPDC of a peaceful  and investor-friendly environment, and appealed to other oil companies that deserted the state to return.

His words: “Few weeks ago, I represented the state governor, Rt. Hon Oborevwori,  in an interface with the SPDC in Port Harcourt, Rivers State during the Shell’s celebration of Independence. We met with all the top management officials of Shell in Nigeria, including the Country Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, CEO”

“We told Shell to come back to Warri; we explained the nucleus of the MORE Agenda of  the Oborevwori administration, which is meaningful  development; opportunity for all; realistic reforms; and   enhanced peace and security.

“We made them to understand that the governor,  being a home- bred ‘Warri boy’ knows what is right for the people.

“We also justified our request with the quick intervention of the governor when  some communities  threatened to shut down  a Shell flow station at Otumara in the state The prompt attention the governor gave to the matter made them to understand our position, and they applauded it as well .

“Then,  we also discussed why conflict resolution, one of the excuses they gave for their exit could not surface anymore, and that they would agree with us that the Oborevwori administration is grassrooted.

“Some of us,  who are Commissioners were not brought from London or Lagos, we are home-bred, we are full-blown Warri boys. Therefore, we informed Shell that if it is coming back this time around, we,  in the government,  know the who is who, and anybody that will try any rubbish.

“You will agree with me that Delta is a peaceful state, the era has passed where an Ijaw man, Itsekiri man, and Urhobo man would not want to see themselves. You can see that there is nothing like ethnic crisis in Warri, and Delta state at large.

“And any little one that rears up is easily quashed, so there is peace, and when there is peace, the government will create an enabling environment for investors to come in, and that is what the Ministry of Oil and Gas is driving at, particularly with the companies operating under the oil and gas sector.”


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