Local Content Contractors (LCC) across Ijaw communities in Delta State, on Thursday, shut down the premises of Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL), Warri protesting what they termed marginalization of their contractors by the American oil giant.
The protesters who were at the Chevron gate as early as 6am conducted a peaceful protest at the entrance of the Company, preventing workers from entering and coming out for several hours.
The protesters, comprising local contractors from Egbema, Gbaramatu, and Ogulagha communities carried placards of various inscriptions such as: “35 LCC Ijaw Beneficiaries Demand Their Payment,” “Enough of This Tactical Enslavement of Ijaws by Chevron,” “CNL Pay our Money,” “Happy Must Go,” “Chevron Stop This Insensitivity and show Us a Human Face,” 35 LCC From Ijaw On Shelf Drilling Offshore Operations Demand For Their Payment,” etc.
Mr. Joel Tonjoh who spoke on behalf of the aggrieved contractors, accused Chevron of treating the Ijaw contractors with disdain, adding that for the past two years the Company has refused to pay their contractors for services rendered.
According to him, if Chevron does not attend to them and pay them their money, they will shut down every offshore operations of Chevron in their communities.
He said what angered them was the fact that the other two communities, Itsekiri and Ilaje, have continued to receive payments from Chevron while the Ijaw beneficiaries have been left out.
Tonjoh added that despite several letters and petitions to Chevron, the Company has continued to ignore them telling them that they will do something, but according to him Chevron was yet to do anything.
Tonjoh said: “The Ijaw LCC have not been paid for the past two years. They are owing us over 200 million naira now. The other two communities, which is the Itsekiri and the Ilaje communities have been paid. This is unfair to us. We cannot continue to take this inhuman treatment from Chevron.
“LCC beneficiaries have not been paid 250 million Naira which is injustice. If this issue is not addressed, we will shut down operations in our area. We are not going to allow any personal boats to pass through our creeks.”
Meanwhile, Chevron was yet to comment on the allegations as at the time of filing this report.