Posted by Adeyinka Akintunde | 26 February 2018 | 1,603 times
The Nigeria Youth Initiative Forum, a conglomeration of youths in Akwa Ibom, have issued a 30-day ultimatum to ExxonMobil.
The youths are angry over alleged refusal by contracting firms working for ExxonMobil to employ them who are from the catchment area of the multinational.
The ultimatum contained 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 our correspondent yesterday was signed by the forum chairman from Eket, Comrade Sammy Bassey and his secretary, Comrade Godwin Edwards.
Other signatories to the ultimatum are the forum chairmen and secretaries from Esit Eket, Ibeno and Onna local government areas of Akwa Ibom.
The youths alleged that about 400 qualified seafarers and cadet officers from the catchment area had been denied employment by 42 marine and services companies working for ExxonMobil.
They demanded that ExxonMobil should employ qualified indigenes into its marine department as well as direct all marine contractors to source their workforce from seafarers and crewmen from the catchment area.
The forum urged ExxonMobil to commence the immediate rebuilding of Qua Iboe Terminal (QIT) jetty and also start immediate review of ExxonMobil community relations guidelines of 2007.
The youths also requested the multinational to direct its contractor, Bristow Helicopter, to star training youths of the catchment area on helicopter operations after decades of operating in the area.
The forum further alleged that many contracting firms to ExxonMobil had not executed any community development projects in the catchment area since 2007.
The youths then demanded that ExxonMobil should direct its contractors to discharge their corporate social responsibility to the people of the host communities.
The forum frowned upon the attitude of some contracting firms that engage the youths from the catchment area on meagre pay packet considering the current reality in Nigeria.
It lamented that some community liaison officers (CLOs) appointed by labour committee had yet to collect appointment letters from the contracting firms, meaning that they are not accepted.
The forum called for payment of adequate compensation to some of the youths laid off by some contracting firms working for ExxonMobil.
The forum further alleged that the gross neglect and insensitivity of contracting firms working for ExxonMobil had denied job opportunities to over 10,000 youths in the catchment area.
It noted that the companies working for ExxonMobil had violated of the Akwa Ibom Oil Companies and Vessel law 2007 and the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act 2010.
They further noted that the contracting firms were breaching the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Act 2007 and the Merchant Shipping Act 2003 and the Inland and Coastal (Cabotage) Shipping Act 2003 as well as ExxonMobil Community Labour Relations Guideline 2007.
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. (The Nation)
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