Mr Igo Weli says Niger Delta is No Longer Attractive for Investment
Mr Igo Weli, the General Manager, External Relations, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), Thursday said that Niger Delta is no longer attractive to investors, due to restiveness, damage of facilities and the unpredictable nature of the region’s business environment, during his interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Port Harcourt on the sideline of an SPDC sponsored two-day meeting with stakeholders in Abia and Rivers states.
In his words, “The Niger Delta is no longer attractive to investors, as most businesses have already left with new and potential investors preferring to invest in other places like Lagos.
“There are issues in Nigeria today but there are parts of the country that are still working. Even in the midst of these issues and challenges, Lagos is making progress.
“Investors are going to Lagos because of the choices the state government makes and the way they organise themselves and the confidence that gives to investors, which is the reverse in the Niger Delta.
“If Dangote could invest 18 billion dollars to build a refinery in Lagos that ordinarily should be sited in the Niger Delta, then the Niger Delta should be seriously concerned.
Weli felt that Dangote refinery alone would create over 149,000 new jobs with the economies of Lagos and other South-Western states the major beneficiaries.
Thus, according to him, “The region is depriving itself of investment, employment and business opportunities because of endless agitations and choices it took out of anger”..
He said that unemployment is currently a matter of concern in the Niger Delta partly because most firms have left while others have reduced their operation in the area. He therefore wondered why the region was yet to develop despite benefiting from 13 per cent derivation and presence of establishments like the Niger Delta Development Commission; Niger Delta Ministry and Amnesty Programme.
According to him, “Even the existing companies’ activities are dropping because everyday instead of spending time thinking of how to grow the business; the companies are busy thinking of how to manage crises.
“So, people need to think deeply before they act because perception of the situation in the area is likened to one day one trouble, and no longer one week one trouble.
“We should ask ourselves questions of why the region is not on the path of progress; why its roads, schools, hospitals and electricity are not different.
“Well, we should look no further because it is simply the choices the region is making,” he said.