By Tayo Joseph Lagos, Nigeria
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has assured that his administration will continue to protect Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and her investments in the state.
The governor said that there is no need for the SPDC to relocate out of Rivers State, as the action will negatively affect the economy of the state and Nigeria.
Speaking when he granted audience to the House of Representatives Ad hoc Committee on SPDC Relocation on Monday, Governor Wike said: “If anything happens here, it will have negative social implications.
“The relocation will not just be a loss for Rivers State, it will be a loss for Nigeria. The negative impact it will have on the Niger Delta and Nigeria will outweigh whatever challenges that Shell is facing “.
The governor said that his administration is always willing to take measures to ensure that businesses thrive in the state.
He told the House of Representatives that investments in the security framework of Rivers State led to the state not witnessing the sabotage of major national economic assets.
“I thank the Speaker of the House of Representatives and members of the Ad hoc Committee on SPDC Relocation for taking measures to stop the relocation of SPDC “, Governor Wike said.
While debunking claims by the Ministry of Finance that they released N34billion to Rivers State Government as the Paris Club Refund, he said that the Federal Government released N14billion as Paris club Refund to Rivers State. According to him, after protests that the state had been short-changed , the Federal Government released another N3billion to the state, totaling N17billion.
Earlier, the chairman of the House of Representatives Ad hoc Committee on SPDC Relocation, Hon Ibrahim Isiaka said that it is necessary to stop relocation of SPDC because of the effect it will have on the Niger Delta economy.
He said that the committee was set up following a motion moved by Hon Kingsley Chinda.
The Federal lawmaker praised Governor Wike for his developmental efforts that have transformed Rivers State.