A coalition of youths in Rivers state has opposed alleged plans by Shell Nigeria Exploration & Production Company (SNEPCO) to relocate its supply base from Onne to Lagos.
According to a statement by Phillip Tenwa, president of the Onne Youths Council (OYC), any attempt to ship the oil company’s property from the Oil & Gas Export Free Zone in Onne to Lagos, will be stopped.
Tenwa said that the relocation will lead to the loss of more than 5,000 direct and indirect jobs in the community.
He said apart from the OYC, “the Rivers State Youth Federation (RSYF), Ijaw Youths Council (IYC), the Concerned Community Women of Rivers (COCOWOR), and the Rivers State Government are against the move”.
“SNEPCO recently surreptitiously directed that all its property and equipment including turbines, engine spares and miscellaneous equipment spares be loaded into containers and moved out of the Onne Port, where it had operated for more than 20 years, to another port in Lagos,” the statement read.
“Apart from the small businesses and contractors whose businesses would be affected by SNEPCO’s relocation, moving the Supply Base out of Onne Free Zone will negatively affect the economy of Rivers State and the larger 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.2
Earlier in October, the Ijaw Youths Council said it would not allow 2019 general election hold in the Niger Delta region if SNEPCO goes ahead with the relocation of its logistics base from Onne to Lagos.