Sylvester Idowu in Warri
Niger Delta Itsekiri Oil Producing Communities, (NDIOPC) has threatened to shut down Chevron Nigeria Limited facilities in Olero, Dibi and Abiteye Fields in Delta State over perceived failed promises by the company and Delta State government.
NDIOPC, in separate letters to Governor Sheriff Oborevwori and Chairman of Board and Chief Executive Officer of Chevron and made available to THISDAY yesterday, alleged the refusal to convert the VTP5/OTP2 and VTP6 graduates to staff by Chevron, 15 years after their employment, despite interventions by the Olu of Warri, Ogiame Atuwatse III.
The Itsekiri host communities are vexed with the seeming inaction of the Delta State government and the management of Chevron over the ordeal of VTP5/OTP2 and VTP6 graduates, who went through the recruitment process completing their one-year Ogere training programme.
The NDIOPC, in the separate letters by Raymond Aderejor, Eyeolusan Arubi, Bawo Remere, Austin Dorsu, Alfred Jemine, Kingsley Omamogho, Taiye Alakowe, Freeborn Ododo, Oritseje Oporukun and Tony Oweghoro, recalled how some notable personalities such as Weyinmi Okorodudu, Mr. Momodu Releand and former Delta State Commissioner for Oil and Gas, Prince Emmanuel Amgbaduba, intervened at various stages of their protest and made several promises “that were not fulfilled till this moment, more especially with regard to light and water for our communities.”
Alleging that the only means Chevron uses in recruiting people from the host communities “has been halted by the company for several years now,” NDIOPC queried the rationale behind classifying the “South Africa set, VTP1, VTP2/OTP1, VTP3, and VTP4 as employees of Chevron after their training, yet their counterparts in VTP5/OTP2 and VTP6, were pegged as perpetual Trainees/Support Production Technicians for more than a decade now, as against the principle of the programme.
“To the minds of our people in the various Itsekiri communities, promises were made by the government of Delta State, in-line with the demands of the protesting communities, which include water projects, electrification and health facilities of the communities and job opportunities for indigenes of the various communities.
“The government of Delta State as an intervening mediator, mutually took responsibility to fix the light and water projects for the respective communities while your company (Chevron) promised to provide job opportunity and strengthen contractual relationships with indigenous contractors, such as awarding to them supply and other necessities.
“In respecting the mutual agreement and the promises by the Delta State government, the protesters vacated your facilities occupied by them to give room for those promises to be executed, but surprisingly, more than one year after those mutual agreements and promises, none of them was carried out as the situation of the communities under your (Chevron) area of operation within the Itsekiri communities, is worse compared to before.”
“The water and light project promised and undertaken by the government of Delta State, was not done or attempted in communities such as Uso, Saghara, Eghoro, Ureju, Deghele and Bateren communities. It is material to our complaint to state further that those communities are still suffering from lack of these facilities, while your company (Chevron) operation within the respective fields continue to destroy the ecology of our communities.
“The water project that was commenced in Obaghoro and Ebrohimi communities, are not consumable as the water is bad and life threatening, because the contractor that was contracted to do the job, did a very bad job, while the government authority was careless about the health of the indigenes of both communities.
“Other communities like Tebu, Gbokoda, Ajamintan, Udo and Jakpa, do not have the water project attempted or executed in their area. It either it's half done or not attempted at all as the water is not flowing in any of these communities. Indigenes of the communities that were employed by your company (Chevron) for over 16 years now, are still contract staff, while people from other geo-political areas of the country, are being made permanent staff of your company every now and then”, it added.