From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Bayelsa State government has appealed to the Federal Government to prevail on International Oil Companies (IOCs) to relocate to the Niger Delta without delay.
Governor Douye Diri made the appeal over the weekend during his address at the 2nd Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) Research and Development Fair and Conference in Yenagoa.
The governor, represented by his deputy, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, described the refusal of the IOCs to establish their corporate offices in the state and the Niger Delta region, where they carry out their operations, as great disservice and injustice.
He said people of oil producing states feel short-changed that IOCs were depriving them of their inherent benefits of their operations in the Niger Delta by paying taxes to states where they have their headquarters.
“Bayelsa State government still feel very short-changed in terms of what we are getting from the oil and gas industry despite the efforts we are making to ensure peace and tranquillity in the industry. We strongly feel it is unfair for the IOCs to carry out their operations in Bayelsa, yet the PAYE income tax is collected in Lagos. That is a case of somebody eating the beans and asking another person to have diarrhoea.”
The governor expressed the displeasure that over three years after Vice President Yemi Osinbajo promised to make good the relocation of IOCs to their major areas of operations, nothing had happened in that regard.
According to him, the IOCs have no reason whatsoever not to relocate to the state, considering the prevailing enabling environment in terms of security and improved means of transportation following the commencement of flight operations at the Bayelsa Airport.