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Fearing Job Loss, Youths Protest Planned Closure of Chevron Logistics Base at Onne

Fearing Job Loss, Youths Protest Planned Closure of Chevron Logistics Base at Onne

Oluchi Chibuzor

Youths under the aegis of the Onne Youth Council on yesterday staged a peaceful protest at the Chevron shore/logistics base located in the Onne Oil and Gas Free Zone, Onne, Rivers State over planned closure of the base. 

The youths, in their large numbers, carried placards with various inscriptions appealing to Chevron to rescind its decision to relocate its logistics base from Onne, as the move could have dire economic consequences on the community. 

The President of Onne Youth Council, Tobiah Silas Tete, who led the peaceful, said their visit to the shore base was to submit a letter of appeal to the Chevron management to reconsider the decision to relocate its logistics support base from Onne in order not to throw the community and Rivers State into economic hardship. 

“It has come to our notice as members of the host communities, the leaders and community representatives of the Onne-Ikpokiri clan that Chevron Nigeria Limited, an oil producing company operating its Shore/Logistics Base at the Oil & Gas Free Zone has commenced moves to relocate the Base from its current location in Onne, Rivers State. 

“This news came to us as a shock considering the strategic role the Chevron Logistics/Shore Base plays in our daily lives, especially as the company has enjoyed very warm and cordial relationship with our peaceful and welcoming communities for more than thirty years. 

“Consequently, we the host communities are jointly appealing to Chevron to stop the planned closure of its Logistics/Shore Base at Onne. This call became imperative considering the dire economic and security consequences of the planned relocation of the Shore Base out of Onne. 

“The Logistics/Shore Base in question is a major employer of labour in our community, providing thousands of direct and indirect jobs to our men and women. 

“We therefore appeal to you to kindly halt the ongoing relocation to avert unnecessary economic hardship on persons and families in the communities that have hosted your Logistics Base and supported your operations peacefully and harmoniously for many years. 

“Many of our youths and women depend on the operations of the Chevron Logistics/Shore Base in Onne for survival and to support their families. Why then do they want to inflict this untold hardship on them and their households at this time when jobs are scarce and even unavailable? 

“The importance of the presence of Chevron in our communities over the past three decades cannot be overemphasised. Moving the company’s logistics operation out of the Onne Oil and Gas Free Zone at this time will be devastating to our youths and communities as a whole,” Tete said while addressing journalists at the venue of the peaceful protest. 

The Onne Youth Council President urged Chevron to enter into dialogue with the affected communities “to discuss this important issue and see how we can continue to work together”. 

“We will also appeal to our Governor, His Excellency Barrister Nyesom Wike and His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, the Chairman of Eleme Local Government, security operatives and all well-meaning Nigerians to intervene in this matter by prevailing on Chevron to suspend the planned closure of its Logistics/Shore Base in Onne in order not to disrupt the peace in the Niger Delta region.

“We urge Chevron to kindly abide by its commitment of actively supporting the economic development of the communities that host its operation in one form or the other,” Tete added. 

The protesting youths were received at the Chevron logistics/shore base by the Facility Security Officer, Mr. Asu, who promised to convey their letter and request to the Chevron management.

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