New Drilling Project: Community Demands 40% of Contracts

Port Harcourt refinery – AFP

By Victor Ernest 

Tsekelewu Community in Warri North, Delta state, has vowed not to allow the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC/Elcrest, to drill a new project in its community unless they get at least 40 percent of jobs available.

Leader of the settlement, Marvis Ofiyai, said it was compelled to give the condition because of what he called the company’s insensitivity to the plight of its host community.

According to the leader, the draft Environmental Impact Assessment, EIA, for the proposed seven appraisal wells within Opuama Field in OML40, where Tsekelewu is co-host, should be cancelled until NPDC does the proper thing.

He further expressed fears that if the project is not properly handled, it could cause a breach of peace in the area.

”Since the coming of NPDC/Elcrest, people of the host communities have not been employed. When contracts are to be awarded for jobs, no bidding is made,” he added.

He disclosed that contracts are always awarded to one person or a clique that he said has been monopolizing contracts in the community.

He further disclosed that ”bidding  for contracts” is not made open to community executives except the ”clique.”

According to VANGUARD, a staff of the External Relations Department, NPDC, Benin City said there was no operation going on.

The staff also disclosed that they have been meeting with the community leaders and they have yet to be showed any document.

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