News Oil & Gas

Protest: Ijaw Local Contractors Shut down Chevron Office over Alleged Marginalization

…we are committed to fulfilling our obligations – Chevron

Local Content Contractors (LCC) across Ijaw communities in Delta State on Thursday, shut down the premises of Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL), Warri as they protest against what they termed the marginalization of their members by the American oil giants.

Meanwhile, the management of the oil company said they are aware of this development and are working with relevant stakeholders to resolve the issues.

It also added that it is committed to ethics and rule of law in its dealings with its partners.

The protesters, who were at the Chevron gate as early as 6am, conducted a peaceful protest at the entrance of the Company, preventing workers from entering and coming out for several hours.

The protesters, comprising local contractors from Egbema, Gbaramatu, and Ogulagha communities carried placards of various inscriptions such as: “35 LCC Ijaw Beneficiaries Demand Their Payment,” “Enough of This Tactical Enslavement of Ijaws by Chevron,” “CNL Pay our Money,” “Happy Must Go,” “Chevron Stop This Insensitivity and show Us a Human Face,” 35 LCC From Ijaw On Shelf Drilling Offshore Operations Demand For Their Payment,” etc.

Mr. Joel Tonjoh who spoke on behalf of the aggrieved contractors, accused Chevron of treating the Ijaw contractors with disdain, adding that for the past two years the Company has refused to pay their
contractors for services rendered.

According to him, if Chevron does not attend to them and pay them their money, they will shut down every offshore operations of Chevron in their communities.

He said what angered them was the fact that the other two communities, Itsekiri and Ilaje, have continued to receive payments from Chevron while their Ijaw counterparts have been left out.

Tonjoh added that despite several letters and petitions to Chevron, the Company has continued to ignore them, promising them to do something about their plight, but according to him Chevron was  yet to do anything.

Tonjoh said: “The Ijaw LCC have not been paid for the past two years.

They are owing us over 200 million naira now. The other two communities, which is the Itsekiri and the Ilaje communities have been paid. This is unfair to us. We cannot continue to take this inhuman
treatment from Chevron.

“LCC beneficiaries have not been paid 250 million Naira which is injustice. If this issue is not addressed, we will shut down operations in our areas. We are not going to allow any personnel boats
to pass through our creeks.”

Reacting to the issue via an electronic mail to GbararmatuVoice, Chevron management explained its own side of the matter.

The statement signed by the company’s General Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs, Esimaje Brikinn and titled “CNL committed to ethics in its business dealings”, reads; ”Chevron
Nigeria Limited (CNL), operator of the joint venture between the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and CNL (the NNPC/CNL JV), is aware of issues raised by some Ijaw community youths in the Western Niger Delta. We are working with relevant stakeholders for the peaceful resolution of the issues.

”At CNL, we continue to fulfill our contractual obligations to our employees, contractors and other suppliers in a timely manner. The terms and conditions of our contracts are very clear and competitive.

”CNL reiterates its commitment to ethics and the respect for the rule of law in the resolution of issues. We continue to partner with relevant stakeholders to support socio-economic development in the communities and Nigeria at large through our robust social investment programmes, within available resources and opportunities”.

By Shina Badmus

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