Residents of Mbo Local Government Area in Akwa Ibom State have risen against what they termed as violation of content law by an indigenous oil firm, Oriental Energy Resources Limited.
The resident, who registered their grievances through a protest on Monday, lamented that the company has sidelined the people of the area in employment and contract awards notwithstanding the provisions of the nation’s content law.
The protesters carried placards with various inscriptions such as ‘Oriental, stop flouting local content law’, ‘relocate your operational base to Mbo’, Enough of this marginalisation in employment and contract awards’, ‘Our people have the qualifications to work in Oriental’, Mbo has communities’ contractors,’ We demand fair play, equity and justice,’ ‘NCDMB save our souls’, among others.
Addressing the protesters, the Mbo Youth President, Comrade Edwards Moses, explained that the community content guidelines stipulate that oil companies operating in a community should, as a matter of policy give the community 100 per cent unskilled labour, 50 per cent semi-skilled labour, and at least 20 per cent skilled labour, regretting that Oriental Energy has failed to do so as contained in Section 4, sub-sections 1-4 of the Nigeria Content Act 2010.
He lamented that of the 300 to 400 unskilled labour working offshore, only two are from Mbo, urging the company to respect the local content law in its operations.
He added, “If they think they have an office in Lagos, we own the platform on our water. As a matter of policy, all the service companies working for Oriental are supposed to come from the community, but we have it on good authority that Oriental has advised them not to relate with the people in the community because Oriental has refused to insert community content in their award of contracts.
Meanwhile, Managing Director of the oil firm, Mustafa Indimi, could not be reached as at press time, but the Chairman of Community Development Committee, Mfon Etim Henry, lauded the company for carrying out its Corporate Social Responsibility in the area and that the protesters were exercising their fundamental human rights to demand a fair share in the scheme of things.