Itsekiri Graduates Threaten Shutdown of Chevron Facilities over Alleged Secret Recruitment

Sylvester Idowu in Warri

Itsekiri graduates under the aegis of National Association of Itsekiri Graduates (NAIG) have threatened to shut down Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL)  oil facilities in protest against secret employment of staff members  contrary to the laid down Local Content Act.

The group accused the American oil giant of secretly employing about 300 persons “in flagrant disregard to the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act 2010” and threatened showdown with the company if those mobilised for the perceived vacancies we’re not Itsekiri, Ijaw and Ilaje.

NAIG, in a statement issued yesterday and signed by its President and Secretary, Messrs Ben Eyitemi Eburajolo and Mino Esiategiwa, respectively urged the company to reverse the employment and follow the laid down laws in its recruitment.

The group demanded that those purportedly engaged by Chevron Nigeria Limited, be demobilised and sent back immediately, while Itsekiris were called up to occupy at least 60 per cent of the alleged vacancies.

“Our attention has been drawn to the current recruitment being done by Chevron Nigeria Limited where about 300 persons have either been called for medical or mobilised to resume work at various locations nationwide.

“It is disheartening to know that Chevron Nigeria Limited, operator of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) JV in OML 49, OML 90, OML 95, EGTL, Chevron Tank Farm, Agbami, Sonam, etc conducted such a large scale recruitment, without publishing it in any national dailies or on their official website nor through a third party. 

“National Association of Itsekiri Graduates (NAIG) discovered from our investigation that several of these new intakes, have resumed in various locations while others will resume this week.”

The group added  that the new intakes have resumed in all Chevron locations at its Offshore, Onshore, Deep Water, Warri and Lagos facilities, South Offshore Area.

NAIG said it found it provocative that Chevron decided to undermine, not just the Itsékiri Nation, who were the major host to its operations in Nigeria once more, but conducted the recruitment in flagrant disregard to the Nigerian Oil, and Gas Industry Content Dev. Act 2010.

“This employment was conducted in secrecy, without given opportunity of participation to eligible Itsekiri Graduates only shows that Chevron has declared war on the Itsekiri Nation and as such should leave our land immediately else we can’t guarantee the safety of their operations in our land any longer, unless all those mobilised to resume in all locations listed above that are not from any of the host ethnic nationalities (Itsekiri, Ijaw, and Ilaje) are demobilised and sent immediately while Itsekiris are called up to occupy at least 60 per cent of the vacancy available, without undergoing any aptitude test or interview as already done by Chevron to those whom they are to replace.

“We wish to emphasize that CNL has been marginalising the Itsekiri Nation for over 30 years since it acquired Gulf assets and expanded its operations in our land, not only in terms of employment and human capacity building, but also in terms of Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) as there is no medical center/hospital built and equipped in any of the Itsekiri Host Communities, no electricity, portable drinking water.

“Whatever means CNL including,  Project Bella, are proposing to convert contract employees to staff, Itsekiri should be considered first”, it added.

The group urged President Bola Tinubu, the National Security Adviser, Malam Nuhu Ribadu and Group Chief Executive Officer, NNPCL to prevail on Chevron to do the needful noting that “Should Chevron refuse to heed our call, we will have no other option than to do everything within the law to ensure our demands are met even if it will affect Nigeria’s current Oil production.”

As at the time of this report, questions put forward to three key officials of Chevron Nigeria Limited via Whatsapp and Text messages, as regards the allegation, were yet to be responded to.

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