International oil companies operating in the Niger Delta region have been asked to relocate their headquarters to their states of operation. 

The Senate made this request in its resolution passed during plenary on Tuesday following a motion sponsored by a lawmaker from Akwa Ibom, Albert Akpan. 

Major oil and gas companies operating in the Niger Delta had moved their headquarters and operational bases to Lagos State, as a result of the incessant security crises and restiveness pervading the oil-rich region.

But the Senate mandated its committees on Petroleum Resources Upstream; Downstream Petroleum Sector and Gas to work with the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and the Presidential Implementation Committee on the Petroleum Industry Act to facilitate the relocation.

There have been calls by the oil-producing states for the relocation of the IOCs and their subsidiaries from Lagos and Abuja to the south-south region.

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo had in March 2017, also had backed the debate, stating that it will reduce tension in host communities.

Speaking on the motion during plenary, Akpan said the relocation of the IOCs to their host communities will facilitate development in the areas.

“The Senate is concerned that multinational and Nigeria oil and gas companies have over the years been operating from their respective operational bases until militancy and insecurity in the host communities in the Niger Delta became the order of the day,” he said.

“Also, the reason proffered by the oil and gas companies for not relocating to their host communities has always been due to insecurity and hostilities.

“Operating outside the host communities and the operational base is the reason for the high cost of production which has been the bane of the country’s oil and gas industry, militating against maximum revenue from crude oil and gas sales to the federation account," Akpan said.

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