By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Director-General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Mr Dakuku Peterside, has appealed to the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) not to relocate its corporate headquarters from Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital.
Mr Peterside’s appeal comes as the Rivers State government last Wednesday, through its Attorney-General, Mr Emmanuel Aguma, petitioned the Senate over the “planned relocation” of SPDC headquarters from Port Harcourt to Lagos.
Speaking on the issue, Mr Peterside stated that if the petition of Rivers State government against Shell is true, then it portends grave consequences for the state.
The 2015 All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in the state admonished the Anglo-Dutch oil giant to have a rethink about the planned relocation of its head office to Lagos, stating that the federal government was making concerted efforts to tame insecurity in the state.
“For long, we warned Governor Nyesom Wike that his utterances and actions were drawing the state backward. We admonished him to rise to statesmanship and govern the state like a man ready for the job. His actions have fuelled unnecessary tension in the state, with many people killed.
“How can the governor of the state be raising false alarm everyday that there are plans to assassinate him, what kind of message is he sending out? Almost on weekly basis, Governor Wike is involved in one altercation or the other with security agencies. Can you now see what his actions are bringing to Rivers state?” Peterside queried.
The NIMASA boss disclosed that he would join hands with relevant stakeholders within and outside Rivers State to put pressure on Shell not to move its headquarters to Lagos.
“While we condemn the utterances and actions of the governor that are driving companies away from the state, we will do everything we can to promote security and safe haven for investors.
“Already the federal government has signed an agreement with Italian firm, Eni to refurbish the Port Harcourt Refinery. The Lagos-Calabar rail line will soon come on stream. We need all the investments we can get so our state can develop.
“My appeal to the governor is that he should settle down to govern and behave responsibly. His actions and inactions can make or mar this State. Rivers State belongs to all of us and we won’t watch her go down because of the desperation of one man,” he concluded.
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