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Community Shuts Down Heritage Energy Operations in Delta
Angry indigenes of Olomoro Community in Isoko South Local Government Area of Delta have shut down operations at the oil mining lease (OML) 30 operated by the Heritage Energy Oil Services Limited (HEOSL).
The aggrieved host community indigenes, it was gathered, stormed the premises of the oil firm on Saturday, to peacefully protest an alleged disengagement of eight of their kinsmen working with the company.
The protesters who held placards baring inscriptions such as: “Heritage, just reinstate all the indigenous workers,” among others said community workers were sacked without any reason and also accused the company of unduly marginalising the host community.
The patron, Olomoro Indigenes Heritage Staff, Mr. Okpogbo Peter told journalists yesterday that the company would not be reopened until the affected staff were reabsorbed.
According to him, the disengaged workers were employees of the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) before it was bought over by the Nigerian Petroleum and Development Company (NPDC) in 2012.
He said HEOSL had not employed any Olomoro indigene since it inherited the assets from NPDC in 2017.
“Shell requested the workers from the Olomoro Community and transfer their assets and workers to NPDC in 2012. HEOSL bought the facilities in 2017. Since 2017, HEOSL has never employed anybody from Olomoro Community but would rather sack our people employed by Shell.
“We disagree with that. Heritage has not right to sack any of our community workers that were employed by Shell. They are owing Olomoro Community slots, so we are saying the sacked community workers be called back immediately,” he said.
Peter said the action would be sustained until the workers were reabsorbed.
Also, one of the retrenched staff of the company, Mr. Steve Okaro alleged that the Heritage Energy made series of illegal employment over the years which had over-bloated the staff strength.
“We learnt that a new company is coming to take over from Heritage but it’s like the company is complaining of the staff strength. Now, they want to let some workers go and it is the community workers. Those workers they employed through the back doors, they did not touch them.
“They are owning Olomoro Community more slots and they are dropping our people. We are saying, no way, we cannot take it from them. All the eight sacked workers should be reinstated.
“Our President-General, Chief Commander Samuel said we should take it diplomatically with them but they are not shifting ground, hence the protest,” he alleged.
Fidelis Oghenede, member of the Olomoro indigene Heritage Staff said that the disengagement of their kinsmen by the company was unacceptable.
“We the community staff from Olomoro say no. This is unacceptable. Provide more slots for us, employ more people from the community and not pushing them back to the community,” he said.