A Niger Delta group, under the aegis of Niger Delta Activist Forum, has threatened to shut down the Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC) if it fails to induct some junior production staff recruited in 2014 and 2015.
The group gave the company a 14-day ultimatum to induct the staffers who were predominantly drawn from the host communities or risk a “total and complete shutdown”.
Briefing newsmen in Abuja, the Convener of the Forum, Comrade Success Jack, said “the 2014/2015 NAOC host communities junior production technicians recruitment exercise in line with extant industry laws is a right and not a privilege granted to the host communities.
“Therefore, NAOC should immediately induct and integrate the successful applicants within a fortnight”.
He recalled that in line with Nigeria’s local content policy, Agip had conducted a recruitment exercise for junior production technicians and about 100 indigenes of the host communities emerged successful.
“After the selection process, the successful candidates were booked for medical tests and subsequent placements, but the company abruptly aborted the exercise.
“All entreaties from the traditional rulers, Rivers House of Assembly and security agencies that Agip should induct the locals fell on deaf ears.
The Niger Delta Activists Forum recently dragged Agip before the Rivers state command of the Department of State Security (DSS), where the company was advised to induct the 100 junior staff, but the company still reneged on its promise,” he said.
Jack said the activists had embarked on “twenty-one days of thorough consultations, with well over one hundred and twenty community-based organizations, community leaders and youth groups in the Niger Delta.
He said that the consultation was to bring to the fore what he termed as ‘disregard and total disrespect of our people in the region, extant laws and institutions of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by Nigeria Agip Oil Company(NAOC)”.
He said the group had exhausted all avenues and available options to make Agip live up to its corporate social responsibility, but the company was not ready to continue doing business in Nigeria.
“Failure on the part of NAOC to comply with the fourteen days ultimatum given herein; we shall commence a total and complete shut down of all NAOC flow stations and oil production facilities within our communities.
“We hereby call on all Niger Delta people to boycott all NAOC products and cut all dealings with this avowed enemy of our people at the end of this ultimatum; while advising that the right things be done and quickly so, to avert the extreme position that our people may be forced to assume.
The group, however, appreciated President Muhammadu Buhari, “for graciously signing the #NotTooYoungToRun Bill into law”, which it said would accord Nigerian youth a place in the business of governance.
“This is a historic landmark achievement, geared towards youth empowerment and inclusion and not even the worst of onslaughts from anti-youth progressive agents like NAOC can reverse it”, the group added.