Chevron host communities protest over Corporate Responsibility failure

•Chevron does not deal with pressure groups ― Management

Host communities of the multinational oil corporation, Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State, on Wednesday, protested over the alleged failure of the oil giant to carry out any Corporate Responsibility Project in the area.

The protesters from the communities under the Molutehin-Jinrinwo Development Trust, stormed the headquarters of Chevron Corporation in Awoye community, saying the oil company had failed to honour the agreement with the people of the communities.

They claimed that the Chevron Corporation had an agreement to pay a royalty to the communities but alleged that CNL failed to honour the agreement for over 30 years.

The residents of the communities which include, Awoye, Molutehin, Gbadira, Jinrinwo, Ugbo, Mishe, Erona amkng others, called on the firm to vacate their land or honour the agreement signed some 30 years ago.

Armed with placards of various inscriptions such as “We deserve better condition, “Chevron should incorporate our trust, “Over 30yrs of operation, no employment, enough is enough, “Our land, our heritage, “We need employment from Chevron, “It is our right to protest, “No water, electricity, schools in our land, “We have been marginalized for long among others.

Speaking on behalf of the communities, the Chairman of the Molutehin-Jinrinwo Development Trust, Mr Kelly Nomiye, said there was a need for an immediate plan for the development of the communities under Molutehin-Jinrinwo Development Trust.

He listed some of the needs of the people of the communities to include construction of roads, telecommunication networks, electricity, potable water, modern riverway transportation, hospitals and schools

Some of their demands also contained in a letter directed to the General Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs (PGPA), Esimaje Brikinns, include the immediate Chevron regional office at Ode-Ugbo with tank farm situated in Ugbo kingdom.

The letter signed by their Chairman and Secretary, Chief Mese Ilemobayo and Chief Aworunse Kayode respectively also read, “employment of five people from each of the nine communities every year as contract staff, provision of two-speed boats with Yamaha 200HP engine for each of the nine communities.

“Joint stakeholders semi-annual assessment of the status of community development which will include the community elders, youth, women group, representatives, company and the kingdom.

“All the Baales should be paid a monthly sum of N200,000 each, increment of scholarship both tertiary and secondary institution (in number and amount), setting up of skill acquisition centres for women and youth for self-reliance.

“Incorporation of Molutehin-Jinrinwo Development Trust, N30 million credit scheme for each of the nine communities to aid business development especially for the women among others.”

But while reacting to the protest, the management of Chevron said the company will continue to maintain cordial relationships with its host communities.

Inna statement issued by the General Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs, Esimaje Brikinn, who said the company does not deal with pressure groups and explained that the company channel of engagement with the Ilaje communities remains the Ilaje Rural Development Advocacy Committee Initiatives.

The statement reads in part, “Chevron Nigeria Limited channels of engagement with the Ilaje communities neighbouring its onshore areas of operations in Ondo State remains the Ilaje Rural Development Advocacy Committee Initiatives (“ILRDC”).

“Through the ILRDC, the NNPC/CNL JV has, through its corporate social responsibility initiatives, significantly contributed to the development of the constituent communities of the ILRDC through the GMoU process.

“The ILRDC has completed various projects in health, education and economic development initiatives and has continued to plan and execute new projects that improve the livelihood of members of the communities.

“Since inception in 2005, successive ILRDC leadership have s expended the fund provided by the NNPC/CNL JV for implementing various projects in the constituent communities.

“These projects include a science laboratory, multipurpose halls, concrete and wooden foot bridges, housing projects, town halls, reverse osmosis water project, purchase of two-speed boats for transportation, and provision of public toilets.

“The ILRDC has also awarded scholarships, conducted free medical health, acquired two (2) plots of land at Ugbo to construct the ILRDC secretariat and progressed the construction of a Mother and Child Health Care Center, in collaboration with Amalgamation of Ilaje Ugbo Coastal Communities Association at Ode Ugbo.

“Chevron reiterates its commitment, within available resources and opportunities, to continue working with its community stakeholders and other partners to maintain peace and contribute positively to sustainable socio-economic development, through its corporate social responsibility initiatives in the communities neighbouring its areas of operations.”

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