A Niger Delta group, under the aegis of Niger Delta Activist Forum, has handed a 14-day ultimatum to the Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC), to induct some junior production staff recruited in 2014/2015 by the company from the host communities.
Failure to comply, the activists threatened to “commence a total and complete shut down” of Agip facilities in the oil rich region.
Recall that, in line with the country’s local content policy, Agip had conducted a recruitment exercise for junior production technicians where about 100 persons emerged successful from the host communities.
After the selection process, the successful candidates were booked for medical tests and subsequent placements, but the company abruptly aborted the exercise.
All entreaties from the traditional rulers, Rivers House of Assembly and security agencies that Agip should induct the locals fell on deaf ears.
The Niger Delta Activists Forum recently dragged Agip before the Rivers state command of the Department of State Security (DSS), where the company was advised to induct the 100 junior staff, but the company still reneged on its promise.
Briefing newsmen in Abuja on Tuesday, the Convener of Niger Delta Activists Forum, Comrade Success Jack, said “the 2014/2015 NAOC host communities junior production technicians recruitment exercise in line with extant industry laws is a right and not a privilege granted to the host communities.Therefore, NAOC should immediately induct and integrate the successful applicants within a fortnight”.
Jack said the activists had embarked on “twenty one days of thorough consultations, with well over one hundred and twenty community based organizations, community leaders and youth groups in the Niger Delta, over the disregard and total disrespect of our people in the region, extant laws and institutions of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by Nigeria Agip Oil Company(NAOC)”.
He said the group had exhausted all avenues and available options to make Agip live up to its corporate social responsibility, but the company was not ready to continue doing business in Nigeria.
He said, “failure on the part of NAOC to comply with the fourteen days ultimatum given herein; we shall commence a total and complete shut down of all NAOC flow stations and oil production facilities within our communities.
“We hereby call on all Niger Delta people to boycott all NAOC products and severe dealings with this avowed enemy of our people at the end of this ultimatum; while
advising that the right things be done and quickly so, to avert the inevitable extreme position that our people have been forced to assume”.
The group, however, appreciated President Muhammadu Buhari, “for graciously signing the #NotTooYoungToRun Bill into law”, which it said would accord Nigerian youth a place in the business of governance.
“This is a historic landmark achievement, geared towards youth empowerment and inclusion and not even the worst of onslaughts from anti-youth progressive agents like NAOC can reverse it”, the group added.