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Vanguard (Nigeria): Shell job cut has nothing to do with militancy—Sylva

Written by Emma Ujah    
Wednesday, 30 January 2008 

The Bayelsa State Governor, Timi Sylva, yesterday, said the planned 1000 job cut by Shell had nothing to do with issues of militancy in the Niger Delta.

Speaking with journalists in Abuja, he said Shell, like many other Joint Venture partners in the oil industry, has been complaining over the failure of the Federal Government to pay its JV Cash Calls and therefore urged the President Umaru Yar’Adua administration to release all necessary JV funds to save the situation.

His words:  “The threat to sack or reduce its staff strength has nothing to do with the so called activities of the Niger Delta militancy. No. The oil company is asking the Federal Government to pay up its sixty percent of the Joint Venture Partners.

“They said that they have been spending and that the government should pay its own 60 per cent of equity contribution. It has nothing to do with the situation in the Niger Delta.

“Honestly, the Federal Government should intervene, because the job cut by SPDC will have spiral effect on the economy and not the Niger Delta alone”.

Chief Sylva warned that the planned job cut would have grave consequences for the region, in particular and the nation’s economic in general, and therefore urged the company to shelve it.

SPDC had threatened to sack over one thousand of its over 3500 staff under a re-organisation of its Nigerian operations, a planned that has unsettled the industry since last week.

The company has been widely criticized over the planned on which the presidency was said to have expressed its displeasure, particularly given the enormous profits oil companies make in the country.

The governor also explained that the decision by the governor to reserve 20 per cent of states’ share of excess accounts funds was in the interest of the economy. “what we did was political solution to a political problem and not who is right and who is wrong. It was done in the overall interest of the economy and national interest”, the governor said.

http://www.vanguardngr.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=5490&Itemid=0

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