By Samuel Oyadongha
Yenagoa â€” The Brass Liquefied Natural Gas in the Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa State says it has commenced the training of 120 youths of its host communities at the Petroleum Training Institute (PTI).
It also said the training would include that of local contractors on contract procurement and execution in the line with the Federal Governmentâ€™s policy on local content.
However, the member representing Brass Constit-uency at the state House of Assembly, Chief Sam Ateke, said though the efforts of the Brass LNG was appreciated, the management should review the award of contra-cts to expatriate companies, increase numbers of indige-nes trained at the senior and lower levels and the comple-tion of various contracts proposed for the community under the Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU).
It was learnt that the training programme was in anticipation of the next phase of the multi-billion naira project which is expected to commence operations in the first quarter of 2010 and signing of the Final Investment Document (FID) also slated for the first quarter of next year.
Speaking yesterday at the opening of the training workshop organized by the company for local suppliers and contractors, Managing Director of Brass LNG, Mr. Adoreh Agbah, said the company chose to be transparent in all its dealings with the host community, with a view to ensuring that most of the jobs needed were awarded to the local people.
He said the training programme for local contractors and the youths was part of the companyâ€™s effort to ensure that it meet with the federal governmentâ€™s policy on local government.
In his speech, the member of the House of Assembly representing Brass Constituency 1, Chief Sam Ateke, commended the effort of the company, stressing that this informed the reason the state lawmakers did not summon them before the floor of the House, in spite of the noticeable flaws due to the companyâ€™s capacity to correct them.
He, however, noted with concern the recurring issue of the award of contracts to expatriates at a high rate, who in turn sublet some of the contracts to indigenous contractors at a ridiculous rate.
â€œWe want to say that the company should not offer us jobs that do not have profit. It is not also late to train senior management staff from the community. It will be good to identify trainable indigenes,â€ he said.
Ateke, who advocated the quick adoption of the 10 per cent equity for indigenes of Brass community in the company, said such partnership will promote development.
â€œAs host community, we have done everything possible to ensure the peaceful take-off and operations of the company.
â€œIf we are made partners, it will promote peaceful interaction and operations in the company,â€ he noted.
The representative of the state government and Commissioner for Energy, Maxwell Oko, said Brass LNG represented the future of the state, adding that the project was sensitive, particularly in this post- amnesty period.
Oko expressed disappointment over the number of youths being trained which, he said, represented only eight percent of the number of host communities and urged the company to train other youths from neighbouring communities.
He explained that the project was not for only people of Brass Island but for the entire Bayelsa State disclosing that the project has already attracted a fertilizer company to the area for which Chevron has guaranteed gas supply.
According to him, the state government has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the fertilizer firm as well another agreement with Addax.
He explained that the project was not for only people of Brass Island but for the entire Bayelsa State, and disclosed that the project had already attracted a fertilizer company to the area, for which Chevron has guaranteed gas supply.
According to him, the state government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the fertilizer firm and another agreement with Addax. Petroleum company.