By Francis Sadhere

The executives of indigenous oil firms, Nigerian Petroleum Development Company and Neconde Energy Limited have been accused of corrupt procedures in the award of contracts in Jones Creek oil field, OML 42.

The field has the capacity to produce about 250, 000 barrels per day of crude oil and it is regarded as one of the largest oil field in West Africa sub-region.

Kokodiagbene Community Chairman, Comrade Sheriff Mulade, who made the accusation, said he has uncovered the scheme contrived by the executives of the two oil firms in which they award juicy contracts to themselves using a handful of community leaders and indigenes as proxies.

Mulade listed some of the jobs to include, flow line, pipe line, well head intervention, marine activity including hiring of house boat, batches and waste disposal management as well as effluent.

The Community leader alleged that the companies were adopting ‘’divide and rule’’ in their operations in the Jones Creek oil field in a desperate bid to tear the host communities apart and starve them of their benefits.

This clandestine operational policy, he warned would not do the companies any good and urged their managements to refrain from any policy that is capable of undermining the cordial and mutual relationships existing between them and the host communities.

His words: ‘’We have uncovered the award of contracts to themselves by the top managers of Neconde, using some community people as fronts. The funny thing is that they are using this divide and rule tactic by picking some people in our communities and give them peanuts so they will close their mouths thereby denying the communities their benefits. This is wrong. Such policy will not do them any good because this is a total breach of corporate/community friendly relations.

He reminded the companies that the host communities only last week allowed them to re-open after their operations were shut down over alleged breach of the Memorandum of Understanding after they had admitted wrong doings and pleaded for a clean slate.

But he expressed disappointment that the companies have not learnt anything from the closure of their operations with the current alleged covert deals in the award of contracts, which he explained lack due process.

‘’We only last week suspended the ultimatum after series of meetings in which they pleaded and admitted that they erred, saying that their operational staff did not disclose to the community leaders the actual scope of the well head intervention project. They agreed to carry the host communities along in their operations. But from what is happening, it seems they have gone back on their words’’, he said.

Mulade however advised the companies to live up to their Social Corporate Responsibilities, emphasizing that the communities would not accept anything less as far as operations in Jones Creek oil field were concerned.