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Host community to oil firm: Give us 40% of contracts or forget new drilling project

By Egufe Yafugborhi

WARRI—TSEKELEWU community in Warri North Local Government Area, Delta State, has vowed that the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC/Elcrest will not be allowed to drill a new project in its domain unless they are accorded at least 40 percent of jobs available to contractors for the said project.

In a statement, yesterday, by Marvis Ofiyai, President, Tsekelewu Community Welfare Association, among other executive members, the community said it was compelled to give the  condition for the company’s continued operation in its domain because of NPDC/Elcrest’s insensitivity to the plight of the host community.

The leaders said: “The draft Environmental Impact Assessment, EIA, for the proposed seven appraisal wells within Opuama Field in OML40, where Tsekelewu is co-host, should be cancelled until NPDC does the proper thing. This project, if not properly handled, can cause a breach of the peace. NPDC/Elcrest should beware.

“Since the coming of NPDC/Elcrest, people of the host communities have not been employed. When contracts are to be awarded for jobs, no bidding is made. They are awarded to one person or a clique that has been monopolizing contracts in the community. The bidding is not made open to community executives except the clique.

“We are aware that drilling operations shall commence soon based on a purported EIA of February 2015. This drilling shall not commence if the Tsekelewu people do not get 40 per cent of the contracts arising from the drilling operations.”

When contacted, a staff of the External Relations Department, NPDC, Benin City, who pleaded anonymity,  said: “There in no operation going on there now. We have been meeting with them. They have not showed us any document.  If they have any issue, they should send it and we will attend to it.”


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