The Governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodinma has disclosed that his administration has sufficiently tackled insecurity in the State and that the coast was now clear for Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited to resume exploration in the State.

Speaking to journalists shortly after meeting behind closed doors with Shell officials in Abuja on Thursday, Uzodinma explained that his engagement with Shell was quite fruitful, expressing optimism that the multinational oil company will resume operation next week.

Shell had pulled out its operation in Imo State after gunmen attacked its facility located at Obiakpu-Egbema in Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State late last year.

The Governor also lamented the spate of oil theft in Nigeria and especially in the Southeastern region, stressing that the endless stealing going on has made it difficult for Nigeria to meet its OPEC daily quota of 1.8 million barrels.

Uzodinma further explained that the hefty oil theft is the major reason Nigeria’s currency Naira has been in a free fall against the dollar as the country suffers huge loss of revenue.

On the raging disagreement between the State Government and an indigenous vehicle manufacturer, INNOSON, Uzodinma explained that relations broke down between the State and the company after the later failed to respect the Service and Maintenance agreement Clause contained in the contracts.

He said the State government had thought it necessary to patronize local companies when it purchased the vehicles worth over N5 billion from INNOSON with an agreement that the company will establish Service workshops in the state to provide regular servicing for the vehicles.

He said over 70% of the vehicles are currently grounded with INNOSON refusing to meet its own end of the bargain.

Uzodinma called on the company to think thoroughly through the issues and allow wisdom to prevail instead of being unnecessarily confrontational.

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