Rivers Youths Flay Planned Relocation Of SNEPCO Property From Onne
Rivers Youths Flay Planned Relocation Of SNEPCO Property From Onne – Angry youths in Rivers State have expressed displeasure over Shell Nigeria Exploration & Production Company (SNEPCO)’s plans to relocate its supply base from Onne to Lagos.
They vowed to stop any ship that tries to load the company’s property from sailing out of Rivers waters.
Their threat followed opposition to the planned relocation of SNPECO’s supply base to Lagos by some groups including the Rivers State Youth Federation (RSYF), Onne Youths Council (OYC), Ijaw Youths Council (IYC), Concerned Community Women of Rivers (COCOWOR) and the Rivers State government.
Workers at the SNEPCO Supply Base; Paramount Ruler of Onne Community, King Dennis Osaronu; as well as former Niger Delta warlord and the Amanyanabo of the Okochiri Kingdom in Okirika Local Council, Ateke Tom, have also called on SNEPCO to shelve the planned relocation in the interest of peace.
However, President of OYC, Philip Tenwa, in a statement yesterday said they would not allow any ship to leave Onne with SNEPCO property as relocating the company will lead to loss of over 5,000 direct and indirect jobs in the community.
He also warned against the secret removal of the company’s property from Onne as this may be counterproductive.
He said SNEPCO recently directed that all its property and equipment including turbines, engine spares, and miscellaneous equipment be loaded into containers and moved out of the Onne Port, where it had operated for more than 20 years to Lagos.
Tenwa said apart from the small businesses and contractors whose operations would be affected by SNEPCO’s relocation, moving the Supply Base out of the Onne Free Zone will negatively affect the Rivers State economy and the Niger Delta region.
“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 said.
The IYC had said it would not allow the 2019 general elections in the Niger Delta region if SNEPCO fails to reverse the relocation of its logistics base from Onne to Lagos.
IYC President, Oweilaemi Pereotubo, insisted that the company’s resolve to move vital equipment to Lagos where it has been operating for over 20 years, would lead to loss of thousands of jobs.
“We are against the relocation of SNEPCO out of Niger Delta. If they claim Niger Delta is not safe for them, it would also not be safe for them to carry out their oil and gas exploration and exploitation,” he said.