Posted on October 31, 2018 by Ilias Kiritsis
A coalition of Nigerian groups are opposing the potential relocation of the Shell Nigeria Exploration & Production Company (SNEPCO) supply base from Onne to Lagos.
The coalition, which comprises of several groups, including the Rivers State Youth Federation (RSYF), Onne Youths Council (OYC) , the Concerned Community Women of Rivers (COCOWOR), Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) and the Rivers State Government, has issued statements suggesting that any ship that tries to leave company property will be blocked from sailing.
According to Phillip Tenwa, President of the Onne Youths Council (OYC), SNEPCO’s relocation would result in the immediate loss of over 5000 jobs in the local community.
He also issued a statement saying that any type of secret attempt from SNEPCO to remove company property from the premises would be ‘’counterproductive”.
Tenwa went on to say that the relocation of the SNEPCO supply base would have a negative impact on the Rivers State and larger Niger Delta region economy.
“It will also put the means of livelihood of many families and the future of our children at risk as well as further swell the growing unemployment market in the Niger Delta region,” he added.
However, the OYC is not the only group applying pressure to SNEPCO; earlier in October, the Ijaw Youths Council threatened to block the 2019 general elections in the Niger Delta, if SNEPCO decided to move forward with the relocation.
IYC President, Oweilaemi Pereotubo emphasized that the move would have catastrophic consequences for the local economy.
“We are totally against the relocation of SNEPCO out of Niger Delta to Lagos. If they claim the Niger Delta is not safe for them to live, it will also not be safe for them to carry out their oil and gas exploration and exploitation works. Our position on the relocation is irreversible and we are demanding that if they do not relocate to the Niger Delta between September 2018 and January 31, 2019, the Ijaw will ensure that there are no elections in the South-South come 2019.”