By Chinedu Adonu
ENUGU – HOST Communities of Nigeria Producing Oil and Gas (HOSTCOM) has revealed that it is currently recruiting 2,000 youths to protect pipelines and oil facilities in the South-East.
It would be recalled that the Federal Government mandated HOSTCOM to recruit 10,000 youths within the 19 HOSTCOM states in the country for the protection of oil and gas pipelines and infrastructure.
The Executive Chairman of HOSTCOM in Enugu State, Dr Perry Iloegbunam, who disclosed this to newsmen said that the recruitment, which started about six months ago, would be ending on Feb. 28.
He noted that the major challenge the country had faced over the years was vandalization of oil and gas pipelines and infrastructure.
“This recruitment will eradicate completely the issue of pipeline vandalism and other nefarious activities carried on oil and gas facilities and infrastructure.
“So, we are very hope that as soon as these youths are deployed; the vandalizing seen or noticed would stop.
“This is why I am passionately urging the people of Enugu State in particular and the entire South-East to key into this laudable Federal Government project.
“To get our people recruited because the condition of service in HOSTCOM is so good and beneficial to the youths; and we do not want the South-East to be left out,’’ he said.
The executive chairman revealed that there is no fixed qualification for those that want to apply but each person would be graded according to his level of education.
“So, the highly educated ones will be graded as senior officers and it will follow in that line to the level of the least educated,’’ he noted.
Iloegbunam said that the Enugu aspect of HOSTCOM would accommodate as many people residing in Enugu although from other states in the South-East.
He noted that HOSTCOM had started training for those recruited in some states that had finalized recruitment.
“HOSTCOM has started training in batches; our first batch was 4,000 trained at Issele Uku in Delta State; second batch 1,000 trained in Port Harcourt and third batch of 1500 trained in Benin.
“Immediately after the Enugu recruitment is over, about 2,000 will be trained in the fourth batch here in Enugu,’’ he added.
Iloegbunam further explained that Enugu State was among the additional 10 state to nine previously oil and gas producing states since the state host an oil depot in Emene in Enugu and have a lot of oil and gas pipelines passes through its communities.
“Apart from the fact that Enugu State have deposit of oil and gas in Commercial quantities; which is yet to be tapped due to government policies but I believe that in the near future it would be exploited,’’ he said.
It would be recalled that the passage and signing into law of some aspects of the Petroleum Industry Bill an additional 10 communities/states where oil and gas pipelines and infrastructure passes through or hosted were added to HOSTCOM.