Graduates of Ijaw, Itsekiri and Ilaje Ethnic Nationalities have issued Chevron Nigeria Ltd (CNL) 14-day ultimatum to address an alleged marginalisation in employment and social amenities in their communities.
The graduates, under the auspices of Egbema and Gbaramatu Graduates Employment Front (KOMBOT), National Association of Itsekiri Graduates (NAIG), and National Association of Ilaje Graduates (NAIG) threatened that after 14 says, they would carry out series of protests in all Chevron flow stations and operation domains till their requests were granted.
The ethnic groups issued the ultimatum while addressing journalists on Monday in Warri, Delta State.
President of KOMBOT, Yabrade Moses, lamented that Chevron had denied many graduates of the ethnic groups employment despite the fact that they had produced thousands of first class graduates in various fields of human study.
“We have a lot of graduates with distinctions and merits in their post graduates pursuit from various institutions of higher education within Nigeria and overseas”.
“Over 20 years, our graduates, who have had opportunities to participate in Chevron Nigeria Ltd’s recruitment process, have been extremely successfully, but Chevron has been adamant in absorbing most of these successful graduates into their staff strength based on flimsy excuses.
“No single functional health centre, no potable drinking water, and in fact the mortality rate has risen beyond reasonable proportion.
“Over the years, we would have to go on serious confrontations with Chevron before a paltry number of our people would be employed,” Yabrade disclosed.
He added that the company had given lack of qualification of youths as a strong reason for not employing host community workers.
According to him, they, however, discovered recently after investigation that the percentage of people from host communities are not up to one per cent of the entire staff base that have been directly employed by the company.
“As a matter of fact, our people are never employed nor given direct employment opportunity into the following departments: Human resources, finance, procurement, production, marine and legal.
This is completely a violation of our content. All parastatals across the country allocate quotas to her host communities, but Chevron is different, they only consider host communities a little when there is confrontation and this is a very bad omen because it is indirectly passing a wrong signal to the people that they have to be militant in nature to get result from Chevron,” he lamented.
Meanwhile, General Manager, Policy Government and Public Affairs of CNL, Deji Haastrup could not be reached as of the time of filing this report, a staff of the department who said he was not authorized to speak on the issue, however, denied the claims of marginalisation in employment and infrastructure.
According to him, Chevron has been a responsible and responsive company that has effected immense transformation in host communities through ethnic regional development committees, and other joint ventures bodies in the state