By Godspower Edoza
International oil company, ExxonMobil, has been issued a 30-day ultimatum by the Nigeria Youth Initiative Forum, (NYIF) over the alleged refusal of contracting firms working for the oil giant to employ indigenes.
An amalgamation of youths in Akwa Ibom, the NYIF, in a letter addressed to the Chairman and Managing Director of ExxonMobil Nigeria threatened to barricade QIT road and the Mobil airstrip should the company ignore the demand.
The letter made available to reporters yesterday (Sunday), was signed by the forum’s chairman from Eket, Comrade Sammy Bassey and his secretary, Comrade Godwin Edwards.
It read, “About 400 qualified seafarers and cadet officers from the catchment area have been denied employment by 42 marine and services companies working for ExxonMobil.
“ExxonMobil should not only employ qualified indigenes into its marine department but also direct all marine contractors to source their workforce from seafarers and crewmen from the catchment area.”
The forum also urged ExxonMobil to commence the immediate rebuilding of Qua Iboe Terminal (QIT) jetty and review of ExxonMobil community relations guidelines of 2007.
They requested the multinational to direct its contractor, Bristow Helicopter, to start training youths of the catchment area on helicopter operations after decades of operating in the area.
The youths further alleged that many contracting firms to ExxonMobil had not executed any community development projects in the catchment area since 2007.
“The gross neglect and insensitivity of contracting firms working for ExxonMobil has denied job opportunities to over 10, 000 youths in the catchment area.
”Companies working for ExxonMobil have violated the Akwa Ibom Oil Companies and Vessel law 2007 and the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act 2010.
“The contracting firms are also in breach of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Act 2007, the Merchant Shipping Act 2003, the Inland and Coastal (Cabotage) Shipping Act 2003 and the ExxonMobil Community Labour Relations Guideline 2007,” the letter read.
The forum requested ExxonMobil to direct its Public and Government Affairs Department to liaise with the communities and the state government to avoid further breach of the laws of the land.
“It is disheartening and pathetic to note that GREMOORE LTD on the instruction and directive of your Public and Government Affairs Department has blatantly and strictly refused to accommodate and integrate the indigenous contractors in the project,” the forum alleged.
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