Oil & Gas

You Must Convert Our Graduate Trainees To Full Time Staff, Ijaw Communities Tell Chevron

•Failure to comply, don’t hold us responsible for any unpalatable action – KOMBOT

•We are running out of patience – Yabrade Moses

Some communities in Gbaramatu Kingdom, Warri South West Local Government Area and Egbema Kingdom of Warri North Local Government Area, all of Delta state has called on Chevron Nigeria Limited to urgently take steps to absorb the graduate trainees from these communities that recently completed their various training as their staff as failure to do so may give birth to an unpalatable outcome.

The communities which include Kokodiagbene, Opuama, Makaraba, Benikrukru, Okotitoru and Tsekelewu, operating under the aegis of KOMBOT Employment Movement, stated this recently while in a chat with GbaramatuVoice. They were represented by the duo of Yabrade Moses and Victor Asoki Warebi, the group’s President and Secretary, respectively.

The group, through the release explained that they are filled with worries, deep pains, and dissatisfaction occasioned by the manner in which Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) has handled the Vocational Training Programme 5/Operator Training Programme 2, and Vocational Training Programme 6 (VTP6).

Yabrade Moses, the group’s President, explained that concerted efforts were made by the three Regional Development Councils (RDCs) of Ijaws, Ilajes and Itsekiris including the graduate bodies to address this abnormalities and injustice being meted out by Chevron to the group over the years without yielding the expected result.

He added that the group had also towed the line of dialogue with several meeting held between the Management of Chevron Nigeria Limited and host communities’ representatives, but all efforts had met a brick wall.

To ensure a peaceful engagement of trained graduates, the group claimed that they have reported the development to security agencies; representatives of governors of Delta and Ondo states; and they as well participated in the peace resolution of the issue at hand. But despite all these, Chevron has refused to get the people absorbed.

To the above development, Yabrade informed our reporter that CNL needs to urgently address the issue as patience of host communities are fast running out.

Giving details, he pointed out that the programme which was technically referred as VTP5/OTP2 Operation and Maintenance technician trainees was the fifth set to apply for Chevron Training Program in 2007.

He further explained that the participants were called for aptitude test, and later skilled test (COBRA); thereafter they did the interview in 2008.

Following the above, one hundred and one graduates resumed training at Ogere Training centre, Ogun state on March 2013 after much pressure from host communities. The training programme duration is billed for 18 months before conversion to CNL staff.

But he lamented that almost five years down the line, the graduates are yet to be converted to CNL staff even after completing their classroom training and on-the-job learning.

On his part, Victor Asoki Warebi regretted that CNL is gradually deviating from her most valuable Corporate Social Responsibility to host communities and the nation in general.

In his words, “The training and employment of eligible graduates from host communities are contained in the Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) signed with host communities.”

He stressed that several peaceful engagements have been extended to CNL, yet the company has done nothing about the situation. Series of confrontations and protests that led to huge losses on our path was carried out before a communication venture was opened up for discussion between KOMBOT, Egbema Gbaramatu Communities Development Foundation (EGCDF) and the Management of CNL.

“It was then that the company promised to do the conversion without giving a specific date. Entering October 2017, there was a meeting between CNL and RDC with Egbema and Gbaramatu Kings duly represented. The conversion case of VTP5/OTP2 was discussed and CNL promised to give feedback on the pending conversion but CNL is yet to keep her promise.

“KOMBOT, therefore, is using this medium to warn CNL to go back to her original purpose of establishing the Ogere Training Programme which is to meet the manpower shortage/imbalance of indigenous host communities.

“Finally, we want to remain peaceful, hence we urge CNL to immediately convert the trained VTP5/OTP2 graduates to permanent staffs. But failure on the part CNL to comply, we should not be held responsible for the unpalatable action that may follow,” he added.

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