Paul Obiajunwo, Port Harcourt
Youths, under the aegis of Bonny Youths Leaders Forum yesterday said they are set for a showdown with multinational oil giant, ExxonMobil Nigeria Limited following what they described as exclusion of its local contractors and unemployment of bonny indigenes.
The youth said they will henceforth resist the “company’s agonizing policy of compelling indigenous Bonny contractors to travel all the way to Eket for submission of contract documents in a job sought after, on the Bonny Island.
They condemned in strong terms marginalization of Bonny indigenes in employment, job/contract award, adding that the company has failed to comply with federal government local content policy.
In a statement issued yesterday in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital, the chairman of the group, comrade Emmanuel Finecountry and his Secretary, Kingsley Wilcox, said ExxonMobil’s action is capable of inciting communal crisis.
The Youth also accused Exxon Mobil of giving out over 85% of employment jobs/contract to non- indigenes, especially to workers and contractors who hail from Eket in Akwa Ibom State not minding that such project is hosted by Bonny community.
The statement reads in parts, “We have noted that Bonny community and Eket are two critical stakeholder hosting Exxon Mobil hence should both be treated on equal terms, even as questions over the reason behind the huge preference for Eket contractors and workers in spite of the fact that Bonny people has continued to provide a peaceful and enabling business environment.
“In a general consensus reached by the Bonny Youth Leaders Forum and consented to by the appointees of the kingdom in charge of oil and gas matters, Messrs Richard Abbey JP and Alali Pepple,, we demanded that jobs like miners, gas testers, site nurse, permit holders, standby men, nitrogen purging, pressure test etc, must be given to Bonny indigenes.
“While contracts like grass cutting, welding labour contractors, mooring of ships among others should be awarded to Bonny Indigenous contractors in compliance with the local content provision and MoU reached as host community.
“We have also decided in line with the plea of our youth, that ExxonMobil management, will have a talk with the youths where it will be demanded that henceforth Bonny indigenous contractors must not be subjected to submitting contract documents in Eket.”
When contacted phone the Public Relations Department of ExxonMobil over the matter, they refused to speak on the issue. A staff who spoke in confidence said every reaction must come from Eket.