Tejiri Ebikeme/Francis Sadhere, 

Activities at some Nigeria Petroleum Development Company, NPDC locations in Delta State were today crippled as a result of protest by OML 34 community contractors.

Allison-Madueke-Minister of Petroleum Resources.

Allison-Madueke-Minister of Petroleum Resources.

The protesters came out as early as 6:30am carrying placards of different inscriptions, demanding that all major and minor contracts must pass through the Community Executives.They stormed the Utorogu Gas Plant, but were prevented by fierce looking soldiers and determined to carry on, they took their protest to Ughelli West Flow station (Ekakpamre), Ughelli East Gas and Ughelli Pump Station (Eruemukohwarien).

In a petition by Chief Freeborn Oghenegueke and Mr. John Aphia, Chairman and Secretary respectively, they called for the removal of Monday Ue-Bari, Asset Manager, OML 34.

In the petition copied The Senate President, the Speaker, House of Representatives, Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan the Managing Director (MD), Nigeria Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), the Group Managing Director (GMD) Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and others, they rooted for a better deal.

They wrote thus; “All Major and Minor contracts must pass through Community Executives, NPDC must give all Community Contractors their Comfort Letters and Novation Agreement Documents, NPDC Operations are in Delta State, yet Community people are made to go to Benin to submit invoices, No to the Arbitrary Return of Submitted Invoices for Services rendered, We have been suffering since NPDC took over, and we say NO to non-payment by NPDC of all military (JTF) Support Contracts.”

According to them also; “NO to NPDC’s anti-host communities Policies and Practices, We Do not want to go to NPDC office in Benin, NO to NPDC officials’ Disregard and Disrespect of Host Communities Stakeholders, Our Sufferings increased since the takeover of OML 34 by NPDC, NPDC should relocate all operations offices to Delta State, NPDC is killing us with their operations, Six months JTF Catering Services rendered by community contractors have not been paid by NPDC, Our Community Executives Must be recognized and respected by NPDC and NPDC 100 Days Celebration of Mediocrity in Benin.”

The OML 34 contractors wrote further; “NPDC Undermining Delta State Host Communities and Delta State Government with their 100 Days Celebration in Benin of Operations, NO to NPDC Disregard of inherited Shell policies and practices, NPDC wants to Kill Us with their Bureaucracy, We have the Right to payment for Services rendered by community contractors to NPDC and its Contractors, NO to the marginalization of host communities stakeholders by NPDC in OML 34 and We are tired of all the failed promises by NPDC.”

“NPDC is daily Killing Us with their Operations,  NPDC Presence not felt in OML 34 host communities, NO to our Economic Deprivation by NPDC operations, NO to NPDC’s Archaic Style of Operations, We have not been paid for Several Months for Grass Cutting Services rendered in OML 34, We are suffering as a result of NPDC’s mode of operations, NO to Delay in payment of submitted invoices for services rendered, The Duration of Payment for Community Contractors providing services for OML 34 should be within 20 Days,” they stated.

Furthermore they held that; “An office should be created in Warri where all invoices and contracting matters will be treated instead of going to Benin-NPDC, Documents Attached to invoices for payment should be reduced to only: Evidence of work completion certificate (WCC), NPDC should increase the Community Contractors percentage from 20% to 50%, NPDC officials should honour request for meeting by OML 34 Community Contractors NPDC and its Contractors should Employ our Youths.”