By Samuel Oyadongha & Emem Idio
YENAGOA—IJAW youths, on the platform of Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, worldwide have expressed anger over what they described as “the flagrant abuse of Nigerian Local Content Law by indigenous oil firm owners in the Niger Delta region.”
The youths lamented that rather than improve the fortunes of the region, the indigenous oil firms have further impoverished the people.
In an open letter to President Muhammad Buhari by the President and Spokesperson of IYC, Mr. Eric Omare and Henry Iyalla, respectively, the youths noted that the local content policy by the oil field owners and operators had “totally relegated Niger Delta communities, entrepreneurs and contrac-tors to the background.”
The youths said since the beginning of the implementation of the Local Content Law in the last few years, the situation in the Niger Delta has moved from bad to worse, stressing that the poverty rate in the oil and gas communities had increased astronomically.
They said: “The Nigerian owners of the divested assets, apart from acquiring the oil fields, have incorporated multitude of companies with which they execute nearly all contracts in the value chain of their operations to the detriment of the local Niger Delta contractors.
“Most of their jobs are awarded to companies in which they have interest and even where a few Niger Delta contractors are engaged, they deliberately refuse to pay these contractors, sometimes for up to two years.
“Just as they give contracts that ought to be done by local contractors to their relatives and subsidiary companies, they also give available employment opportunities that ought to be given to indigenes of the host communities to their relatives to the detriment of the people of the host communities.
“Federal Government, through the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, should investigate the activities of the indigenous oil field owners in respect to their contract awards, recruitment and compliance with the local content requirement in relation to host communities.”