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Direct Your Marginalization Accusations At Chevron, Leave Napims Out, Group Tells Coastal Communities

Source: thewillnigeria.com

BEVERLY HILLS, March 16, (THEWILL) – Stakeholders from Itsekiri, Ijaw and Ilaje coastal Communities, protesting alleged marginalization in the oil and gas sector, have been told by a Niger Delta oil monitoring group, Niger Delta Indigenous Movement for Radical Change (NDIMRC), to specifically direct their accusations at Chevron Nigeria Limited and not the National Petroleum Investment Management Services Service (NAPIMS), a subsidiary of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

THEWILL recalls that the stakeholders, under the auspices of Concerned Itsekiri, Ijaw and Ilaje coastal communities, had in an open letter to President Mohammadu Buhari, published in one of the national dailies, accused NAPIMS and Chevron Nigeria Limited of marginalization and urged the Federal Government to intervene to avoid chaos in the riverine communities.

But NDIMRC in a statement, on Wednesday, said that Chevron Nigeria Limited should be solely blamed for the outcry of marginalization by stakeholders in those riverine communities, adding that NAPIMS have been of immerse help to local contractors who have built capacity over the years in accordance to the Nigerian Local Content Law and shouldn’t be liked to Chevron who they allegedly accused of deprivation and outright neglect of indigenous stakeholders in the oil and gas business.

Signed by it’s President, Nelly Emma, Secretary, John Sailor and Public Relations Officer( PRO), Stanley Mukoro, the group which came in defence of NAPIMS, said that rather than blame NAPIMS, all accusations and queries concerning the alleged frustration of indigenous contractors should be laid against Chevron Nigeria Limited whom they accused of giving preferential treatment to their friends and cronies including expatriates to the detriment of indigenous contractors who are also stakeholders in their operations.

“Our attention has been drawn to an open letter to President Mohammadu Buhari by Concerned Itsekiri, Ijaw and Ilaje coastal communities on marginalization by NAPIMS and Chevron Nigeria limited: 'An imminent invitation to chaos' and we hereby exonerate NAPIMS from the accusation,” the letter read.

“We are not here to hold brief for NAPIMS, but if the truth must be told, there is nothing like ‘Cabals’ in NAPIMS out to marginalize the people. We should not blame NAPIMS, rather we should blame Chevron for the marginalization of the people in our riverine communities of Itsekiri, Ijaw and Ilaje.

“NAPIMS to the best of our knowledge has been supporting our local contractors and the neglected people of the Niger Delta region. The manipulation of contracts and the marginalization of our people are being carried out by Chevron which has been frustrating qualified contractors and capable hands that are supposed to be employed in their area of operations.

“NAPIMS is only approving contracts brought before it by Chevron. Chevron is the brain behind manipulation of contracts and not NAPIMS. Those in Chevron are in the habit of awarding their mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, relatives and friends with contracts to the detriment of our people. Let no one blame NAPIMS for what our people are passing through.

“Our communities are capable of providing qualified contractors and capable hands to work in the RIGs for use by Chevron in their exploration and production of crude oil and gas but are being denied such opportunities by Chevron and not NAPIMS and this is why we want to tell the whole world that the accusation against NAPIMS by the Concerned Itsekiri, Ijaw and Ilaje coastal communities is not right and should be discarded.

“We recalled that the last time a RIG was brought to Niger Delta region for operations, 70 percent of Contracts and Employments were given to the host communities and at that time the host communities and local contractors have not built up the capacity that they have now.

“At the moment, our local contractors that have built up capacity as a result of the Nigerian Local Content, they can even handle drilling as a result of the modern equipment that they have acquired for the Oil and Gas industry in the country. Unfortunately, our local contractors are being frustrated by top officials of Chevron Nigeria Limited who are dishing juicy contracts to their relatives and foreign collaborators.

“We are sure that what the managers of Chevron are doing to our people is not part of the Change President Muhammadu Buhari promised Nigerians during his electioneering campaigns.”

NDIMRC however called on the Federal Government to call Chevron to order and prevail on NAPIMS to make efforts to resolve issues involving the communities and Chevron so as to douse the tension and anger which the activities of Chevron had created in the region.

Story by Joe Ogbodu