The Niger Delta Indigenous Movement for Radical Change (NDIMRC) has defended the National Petroleum Investment Management Servicess ( NAPIMS), a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) over alleged marginalisation of the Itsekiri, Ijaw and Ilaje coastal communities of Niger Delta.
The Concerned Itsekiri, Ijaw and Ilaje coastal communities in an open letter to President Mohammadu Buhari had accused NAPIMS and Chevron Nigeria Limited of marginalisation and called on the President to intervene to avoid chaos in the riverine communities.
But NDIMRC, in a press statement signed by its President, Nelly Emma, Secretary, John Sailor and Public Relations Officer( PRO), Stanley Mukoro, rose in defence of NAPIMS.
According to the group, the accusation should be directed only to Chevron Nigeria Limited.
“We are not here to hold brief for NAPIMS, but if the truth must be told, there is nothing like “Cabals” in NAPIMS out to marginalise the people. We should not blame NAPIMS, rather we should blame Chevron for the marginalisation of the people in our riverine communities of Itsekiri, Ijaw and Ilaje”, the group said.
“NAPIMS to the best of our knowledge has been supporting our local contractors and the neglected people of the Niger Delta region. The manipulation of contracts and the marginalisation of our people are being carried out by Chevron. Chevron has been frustrating qualified contractors and capable hands that are supposed to be employed in their area of operations, but this has not been”, the group wrote.
“Our communities are capable of providing qualified contractors and capable hands to work in the rig for use by Chevron in their exploration and production of crude oil and gas, but are being denied such opportunities by Chevron and not NAPIMS and this why we are defending NAPIMS and to say to the whole that the accusation against NAPIMS by the Concerned Itsekiri, Ijaw and Ilaje coastal communities is not right, the group “said.
“The last time, a rig was brought to Niger Delta region for operations, 70 per cent of contracts and employments were given to the host communities and at that time, the host communities and local contractors have not built up the capacity that they have now. At the moment, our local contractors that have built up capacity as a result of the Nigerian Local Content, can even handle drilling as a result of the modern equipment that they have acquired for the oil and gas industry in the country. Unfortunately, our local contractors are being frustrated by top officials of Chevron Nigeria Limited. We are sure that what the managers of Chevron are doing to our people is not part of the Change of President Muhammadu Buhari,” the group said.
The group however appealed to NAPIMS to make efforts to resolve issues involving the communities and Chevron to subdue the anger of the people.