Perspective

Oil exploration: Group faults firm’s denial of host community

A group, Iron and Steel Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ISSSAN), Bayelsa State branch, has criticised the management of Azikel Refinery and Power Limited, for not involving its host community in all the fabrication works done in the refinery.

 

The group also called on the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Mining Board (NCDMB), Mr. Simbi Wabote, to call the management of the company to order, stating that they had petitioned them in 2018, expressing their disaffection through their lawyer, one Mr. Emmanuel Yavala.

 

In the petition dated March 6, 2018, the group said it petitioned the Azikel refinery copying the executive secretary of NCDMB, wondering why after sending a reminder early this year, they had not been called to order.

 

In the 2018 petition sighted by this correspondent yesterday, ISSSAN Bayelsa branch, said: “According to the local content act of 2010, it is written that as from the commencement of this act, all operators, project promoters, contractors and any other entity engaged in the Nigerian oil and gas industry shall carry out all their fabrication and welding activities in the country.

 

“It was written in the act that any operator, contractor or sub- contractor, who carries out any project contrary to the provision of this act, commits an offence and is liable upon conviction to a fine of five per cent of the project sum of each project in which the offense is committed or cancellation of the project.”

 

The group maintained that ISSSAN had petitioned the company through the local content board but regretted that the board ignored the petition.

Commenting, the Treasurer of the group, Francis Edolor, who spoke on behalf of ISSSAN, said: “We petitioned Azikel Refinery and Power Limited through local content to invite the executives so that we can sit down and discuss but he ignored the letter then; they were doing the fabrication work in abroad.

 

“They used people from outside to do the fabrication work. We reminded them again this year but they didn’t do anything about it till date.

 

“If you do any fabrication work outside the country, you must pay five per cent of the total sum to local content.” But a source from the company, who reacted, asked to see the petition, which was sent to him but still did not respond. Telephone calls put through to him were neither answered nor returned.

 

Another source close to NCDMB in a telephone conversation with our correspondent asked to see the petition first before reacting. But when this correspondent sent the soft copy of the petition, no response was received as at the time of filing this report.

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