Governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodimma has criticized the involvement of major oil companies, including Shell, Mobil, Chevron, and TotalEnergies, in the Nigerian oil sector, stating that they are not genuine investors.
Uzodimma made these remarks during an appearance on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics.
The governor alleged that a group of individuals he referred to as “cabal” is attempting to undermine Bola Tinubu’s efforts to revitalize the nation’s economy.
When questioned about whether these alleged cabals were responsible for the departure of investors from Nigeria, Uzodimma contended that those leaving were not authentic investors.
According to him, Shell and other oil giants show a disregard for environmental laws in Nigeria by shifting their operations offshore from onshore.
Uzodinma said, “Let’s take the oil and gas industry for instance, is there anywhere in the world you go, and you see any filling station, you want to refill your car and you don’t see Shell, Mobil, Chevron, Total? How many of them are operating filling stations in Nigeria? Why are we isolated, and you call them real investors? Why have they taken to offshore operation, abandoning onshore operation if they are genuine?
“You go to Houston, landing Houston Airport, you see oil locations, you see vegetables planted all over there, habitable for human existence.
“Fly to Warri, as you are landing Warri Airport, look at oil locations. Look at the sea, all the fishes, nothing existent, no fish there. The environment is degraded to criminal level.
“Are they what you call investors, people who have no regard for our environmental laws? Are those investors? People who are into double standard; applying different applications in other countries, applying degrading application in Nigeria. Is that what you call investors? Please if we don’t take our destiny in our hands, we will be doomed for it.”
According to the governor, those leaving Nigeria are not investors but those who are benefiting from the cabal system.
Uzodimma emphasized that the departure of these purported investors could be an opportunity for indigenous companies to play a more significant role in the industry.
The governor alleged that these investors are leaving due to a loss of benefits from foreign exchange disparity, crude oil theft, and petroleum subsidies. He considered their departure a “blessing in disguise,” as it opens up opportunities for Nigerian companies that have been denied the chance to invest.
“Again, it is a blessing in disguise because the more they leave, the more opportunities the indigenous companies would have to participate. There is no rocket science . No foreign investor, who is comfortable in his country that wants to leave his country and come here.
“And at the same time, the good investors who are Nigerians, who have been denied opportunities to practise and invest, they now have opportunities to do so.
“I think the earlier the artificial and fake investors leave, the better for Nigeria”.
Notably, Shell recently agreed to sell its Nigerian onshore subsidiary, The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited, for $2.4 billion to the consortium Renaissance. There has being no fewer than 5 multinational companies that has left Nigeria in the last 10 months.
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