The National Assembly would deploy all available legislative tools to ensure transparency, fairness, investment security and due process in all Joint Venture Agreements and other business transactions in the sector.
Speaker Yakubu Dogara said these words at the National Assembly on Thursday, December 6, 2018, at an investigative hearing organised by the House Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream) on the need for Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) to return its Western Operational Headquarters to Warri, Delta State.
Dogara said the House of Representatives would diligently monitor local and foreign investors in the sector to ensure the implementation of their corporate social responsibility while doing business in the country.
The Speaker explained that the investigation was not a witch-hunt, but a fact-finding exercise that would enable the parliament to arrive at fair and credible decisions in the best interest of all parties concerned.
“You will all recall that on Thursday, 5th July, 2018, the House deliberated on a motion on the Need for Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) to return its Western Operational Headquarters to Warri, Delta State,” Dogara said. “By resolution, the House mandated the Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream) to investigate the matter and report its findings to the House for further legislative action.
“The genesis of this issue was the decision by the Management of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) in 2013 to move its Western Operational Headquarters from Warri to Lagos, due to alleged hostility against the company in Warri. The company claimed that the situation was adversely affecting the effectiveness of its operations in the region.
“On their own part, the host communities are averse to the relocation of SPDC Western Headquarters from Warri. This is because, as we all know, the area is the source of the oil, and that is where SPDC and other multinational companies are engaged in the actual drilling operations.
“It is common knowledge that the oil exploitation activities take their devastating tolls on the environment as well as the health and the economic life of the people of the oil producing communities. It is believed that the return of the headquarters of SPDC to Warri will ensure that the expected Corporate Social Responsibility and interface, which the region should enjoy from the company, will be better achieved.
“According to the account given to the House of Representatives, efforts have been made by the people of the host communities, Delta State Government and other stakeholders to persuade SPDC to effect the return of its Western Operational Headquarters to Warri to no avail. This investigative hearing is expected to unearth all issues surrounding this subject matter, so that the House can be guided to take an informed position on it,” he added.
Speaker Dogara had sworn in three new members of the House elected to fill vacant position in the lower assembly.