Posted by News Express | 17 September 2020 | 271 times
Members of Agbidiama Community Youth Council, host of Opukushi, Tunu and Clough Creek Flow Stations in Ekeremnewsmen Local Government Area in Bayelsa have disrupted activities at Opukushi flow station.
Torke Ekpetun, Youth President of the aggrieved Ekeremor community youths, said shortly after the action on Thursday that the youths were yearning for dialogue to resolve the face-off.
He explained that the protest was carried out as a result of the refusal of the oil service companies operating in the area to meet their development obligations to the community.
Ekpetun said that the obligations include provision of employment and empowerment of community folks, engagement of a non-indigenous firm by Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) for catering services, neglect of community leaders by the management of the company.
He also complained about the failure to recognise the leadership of the youth as the duly constituted authority for employment in the area and other matters connected with oil and gas operations.
Ekpetun equally condemned the neglect of the welfare and wellbeing of the youth executives since 2018 by Clinthwealth Nigeria Limited, an oil services firm providing services at the oilfield operated by SPDC.
He said that maltreatment of workers on site, failure to pay community workers end-of-contract bonus as provided for in the employment contract is not acceptable.
He also said that refusal of oil services firm retained to work at the oilfields by SPDC to implement workers annual salary increment at the end of every work circle was worrisome.
According to the Youth President, the refusal of SPDC and other firms operating in the area to donate palliatives as part of their corporate social responsibilities during the COVID-19, lockdown was regrettable.
He regretted the failure to secure Freedom To Operate (FTOs) for contractors before coming to site for execution of jobs has denied the community of accruable benefits are also part of the reasons for the protest.
Ekpetun called on the companies involved to retrace its steps in the interest of peace by according the host communities what is due them.
He frowned at the current situation where the host communities will bear the adverse impact of operations of the oil firms with little or no benefit and called for an end of the anomaly in the interest of both parties.
Contacted for comments on the issue at its oilfields in Bayelsa SPDC’s Media Relations Manager, Mr Bamidele Odugbesan, said that he would come up with a position soon.
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