By Lawani Mikairu
The core communities hosting ExxonMobil crude oil exploration and exploitation operations in Akwa Ibom State are demanding the relocation of the company’s headquarters from Lagos to Eket while also seeking the speedy implementation of various Memoranda of Understandings, MoU, between the oil firm and the communities.
A communique issued by the communities under the aegis of Akwa Ibom State ExxonMobil Core Communities, yesterday, faulted the continuous citing of ExxonMobil headquarters in Lagos as being inimical to efforts to hire locals and also get indigenous contractors to effectively participate in the award of contracts as demanded by the Nigerian content act.
According to the communique, “ExxonMobil has treated with outright disregard the provisions of the local content law as applicable in Nigeria and we have observed with utmost dismay that Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited has over the time showcased very bad, dismal and provocative community relations in its dealings with its immediate host communities and Akwa Ibom State at large.
“The company has treated with levity the agreement entered into with them, the immediate host communities and Akwa Ibom State with reckless abandonment. Notably among such agreement is the MoU they entered into with the host communities.
“Therefore, after a careful investigation into the activities of Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited as regards their attitude toward their immediate host communities and Akwa Ibom State, we seek among other things the immediate relocation of the headquarters to its operational area (Eket Federal Constituency).
“We also demand a review of MoU, between Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited and its core communities as well as full publication and integration of communities based contractors/vendors into the ongoing Qua Iboe Terminal, QIT, Power Distribution Upgrade, QPDUP, Project.”
“We also call for the employment of indigenes of core communities into managerial and directorship positions and the provision and implementation of guidelines for enrollment and recruitment of the core communities’ indigenes into Mobil Technical Training School.
“We are also demanding compensation of Communities for environmental pollution / degradation by oil spills, gas flaring, operational noise and hazards and the empowerment of youths.”