NCDMB denies pressure to relocate headquarter, as angry youths disrupt Board’s operation

Engr. Wabote ncdmb

Oredola Adeola

The Nigeria Content Development and Management Board (NCDMB), has distanced itself from pressure by some stakeholders in oil and gas industry pushing for the relocation of NCDMB’s corporate headquarters from Yenogoa, Bayelsa state

In a statement obtained by EnergyDay from Engr. Ginah Ginah, General Manager, Corporate Communication/Zonal Coordinator of NCDMB, the company was not part of the alleged campaign for relocation.

This medium gathered that some oil and gas industry stakeholders have called for the relocation of the Board’s headquarter from Bayelsa on account of the recent protest and blockade of the Nigerian Content Tower for the past three days by hundreds of protesters who shut down activities at the headquarters of the NCDMB and held staff and visitors hostage.

The aggrieved youths who claimed to be members of Host Communities of Nigeria Producing Oil and Gas, HOSTCOM, rejected the offer by the Board to train one hundred youths in critical skills areas of the industry, insisting that the Board must train 1000 youths from over 850 communities, as earlier agreed on by the board.

The youth further stated that the same training had commenced in other states while Bayelsa youths are not benefiting.

While admitting that there has been disruptive protest and pressure on the Board at the 17- storey Nigerian Content Tower in Bayelsa state, the boss of NCDMB, Engr.Wabote, disclosed that the action by the stakeholders were unwarranted and disruptive.

He said, “The management of NCDMB recognizes that individuals and groups have right to express their feelings and genuine grievances in civil and responsible manners.

“The issues do not constitute sufficient grounds to contemplate or yield to any call to relocate the headquarters of the Board. Considering that the people of Niger Delta region have consistently demanded for the oil producing companies to relocate their headquarters to the region.

“The position of the Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry Development (NOGICD) Act establishing our agency is clear and unambiguous about where our head office should be. The Board will abide by the express stipulation of the act,” Engr. Wabote stated.

The NCDMB Executive Secretary however reassured the stakeholders of the Board’s commitment to do everything lawful and expedient within its power to engender healthy relationship with its host communities, and work progressively to ensure that the avoidable spate of disturbances is brought under control.

Energyday learnt that while the aggrieved youths have continued to barricade the primary entrance to the NCDMB office, and erected a tent for three days, blocking the two-lane access road to the office, the NCDMB Board has been holding meetings with leaders of the youth groups.

On why it has been unable to train more youths as promised, the NCDMB source said that the management claimed that its approved budget for the year could only accommodate a given number of the youths, some of whom include members of the community.

Meanwhile, despite plea by the Board, the demonstrators have insisted that their demands must be met, claiming that the Board was not sincere with an approval that was secured in 2019.
As at the time of filling this report, the security operatives have been deployed to the NCDMB headquarters to disperse the protesters.

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