The executive governor or Imo State, Hope Uzodimma has said multi-national oil exploration giant, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), is set to resume operations after years of exiting the State owing to insecurity and oil theft.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Oguwike Nwachuku on Friday, Uzodimma said that the return of the oil company follows an agreement signed between the State Government and SPDC Chairman and Managing director, Mr. Osagie Okunbor in Abuja on Thursday.
He said the planned return of Shell to Imo is one out of numerous efforts he had made recently to bring back companies that left the State either as a result of insecurity or liquidation based on debt overhang.
This comes as the governor successfully brought back the Standard Shoe Company Limited hitherto operating in Owerri but was taken over by AMCON because of indebtedness.
Uzodimma cleared the debt overhang of N1.6 billion and was handed over the Certificate of Occupancy by AMCON management to resume operations.
Commenting on the meeting he held with Okunbor, the Governor said: “One of the observations of my administration upon resumption of office, was the fact that Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) had been off-site and suspended operations in Imo State as a result of insecurity, vandalism and illegal oil bunkering within the region.
“Having restored peace and tranquility along the coastline, today, I met yet again with the Managing Director and Chairman of the oil giant, Osagie Okunbor and I am elated at his assurance and confirmation of the company’s resolve to resume exploration in the State.
“This development is expected to create a ripple effect and economic boost for the growth of local contents within the region and the State at large while contributing to more developmental projects from the Government.
“On behalf of the Government and good people of Imo State, I express my profound gratitude to the management and staff of SPDC. Rest assured, that the State Government is committed to any partnership that would bring about the development of the State.”