The Folks of Idheze Community in Isoko South Local Government Area of Delta State, have threatened to close down the operations of Nigeria Agip Oil Company Limited (NAOC) in the community.
Rising from a two-day annual mini-conference held recently, the neighbourhood said it had tolerated the negligence and ill-treatment by NAOC for too long and was currently making final arrangements for the complete occupation of the company’s facilities.
The Public Relations Officer (PRO) of Idheze Community Development Union(ICDU), Mr. Emmanuel Ofiemo, in an announcement noted that the NAOC had revealed no sign of a good corporate and socially responsible organisation in its operations in the community, noting that the petroleum-producing firm hadn’t only failed the neighbourhood but had refused to solve many complaints through recent years.
“We’ve never seen a company that’s so deficient incorporate social responsibility and deliberately fuel crisis. For instance, the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Idheze and NAOC died over nine decades back.
“The MoU is your documents that clearly spells out how the corporation may provide physical infrastructure among others.
“We have held several meetings with the company who had yielded no fruits. It very obvious that NAOC is not ready to develop our community but proceeds to take crude oil and gasoline out of our land, which has negatively impacted us” Offiemo said.
He disclosed that while Idheze Community had reported the development to the Delta State Government, NAOC also ignored efforts by the government to intervene.
“it’s quite clear that NAOC is not prepared to hear us regardless of our serene disposition. Hence, we have decided to shut down their operations until they accede to all our requirements.
“For example, NAOC has to compensate the Idheze Community for its nine years it had operated without MoU. It has to pay for the lands it acquired years back because of its own operations.
“It must provide employment for our people and it has to pay all outstanding debts owed to contractors for jobs done because 2018, 2019 and 2020.
“The community is only making final consultations with relevant government agencies since we believe in sustaining the peaceful surroundings in our community. Following these consultations, we will occupy NAOC facilities,” he explained.
Offiemo noted that despite the fact that Idheze leads over 150,000 barrels of crude oil to NAOC’s generation, the firm had just repaid the neighbourhood with”no single job without the employment for our people.”
“NAOC had cautioned that we suspend the protest, describing the economic lockdown caused by Covid-19 pandemic was impacting their operations. They promise to find answers to our complaints.
“But almost a year afterwards, nothing was done. Thus, we have resolved to shut down their operations until NAOC accede to each of our orders,” he said.