HC Deb 27 June 1957 vol 572 cc401-3
24. Mr. Sydney Irving

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what conditions have been imposed in the licences granted to the Shell-B.P. Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited, by the Government of Nigeria with regard to employment and conditions of foreign and African labour, and the safeguarding of trade union rights; and to whom compensation will be paid for the use of the land and natural resources.

Mr. Profumo

Conditions of employment and trade union rights are regulated by the laws of Nigeria. The only condition of this kind in the licences is that the Company must comply with any instructions given by the Chief Inspector of Mines for securing the health and safety of workers. Compensation will be paid to the occupiers and owners of the land.

25. Mr. Sydney Irving

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what concessions have been given to Shell-B.P. by the Government of Nigeria; and what are the conditions of the contract awarded to Taylor Woodrow (Nigeria) Limited, for laying and welding a 10-inch pipe-line from Olibiri to Port Harcourt with regard to labour to be employed and the training of Africans in skilled work connected with such concessions and contracts and royalties to be paid.

Mr. Profumo

Twenty prospecting licences and one exploration licence have been given. The royalty on crude oil is 4s. per ton. on oil produced during the prospecting stage and will be increased to 12½ per cent. ad valorem when commercial production commences. There is no training requirement in the Shell-B.P. licences but the Company have their own trade school in Nigeria and also give scholarships for technical training in the United Kingdom and Nigeria to suitable Africans. Minimum wage and fair conditions of employment clauses are included in the pipe-line contract. Africans are being trained as tractor drivers and welders.

Mr. Irving

The House will be gratified that progress is being made in the development of oil in Nigeria, but does not the hon. Gentleman agree that it is important that when concessions of this kind are given they should fully accord with the new status of this nation, now approaching independence, and will be not publish the details in the Library so that we can see that they accord with this status?

Mr. Profumo

Yes, Sir. I will look into that.

Mr. J. Johnson

Can the hon. Member say whether oil has been found in sufficiently large commercial quantities to justify the high hopes, because this will make an enormous difference to the future of Eastern Nigeria, in particular?

Mr. Profumo

I agree that it will make a great deal of difference to the future, but I should not like to answer that detailed point without the notice which it deserves.

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