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Reps decries oil firms’ alleged neglect of host communities

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Oil and gas

To probe reported marginalisation of Bayelsa, Rivers, Delta states in NAOC

Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Host Communities, Dumnamene Dekor, has cautioned oil and gas firms against evading social corporate responsibility (CSR) in their areas of operations.

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Dekor, who threatened to sanction oil firms found wanting in their responsibilities, disclosed that the committee was reviewing several petitions on the plight of oil-bearing host communities in the Niger Delta region.

The Rivers State-born lawmaker assured that challenges associated with neglect of oil-bearing host communities would be assuaged with the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) in two weeks time.

“A lot of companies try to be evasive. When they are invited, some of them try to avoid appearance, but we will stop at nothing. We will use every legislative instrument at our disposal to compel such erring companies to appear before Nigerians because the House belongs to Nigerians and they are accountable to the people.

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“So, I urge them to make hay while the sun shines before we get to the next stage because we will investigate them and that will come as a result of the interactions we have had with some of them,” he stated.

On the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) threats to resume attacks on oil installations, Dekor appealed to the groups to sheathe their swords in the interest of peace.

IN a related matter, the House of Representatives has ordered an investigation into the alleged marginalisation of Bayelsa, Rivers and Delta states in the appointment of senior management staff at the Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC).

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Adopting a motion sponsored by Preye Oseke and his colleagues from the affected states at plenary presided by the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, it mandated its committee on petroleum resources (upstream) to the veracity of the claim and submit its report in three weeks.

Oseke, who represents Southern Ijaw Federal Constituency of Bayelsa State, alleged that 85 per cent of senior management positions in NAOC had been occupied by personnel from “a certain geopolitical zone” to the detriment of qualified indigenes from the three states.

He claimed that apart from those manned by expatriate employees, the Head of Legal, General Manager, Human Resources, Head, Operations Division, Project Development, Stakeholders Department, Health Safety and Environment, as well as Medicals, were all headed by personnel of the zone.

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