Bayelsa community lashes out at Agip for abdicating social responsibility

Adebayo Obajemu

Olugboro community, hosts to Nigerian Agip’s Tebidaba flow station in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, has pointed accusing fingers at Agip, an Italian oil giant for abdicating its social responsibility to the people.

In order to resolve the standoff with the oil giant, the community has sought the intervention of the Bayelsa State Government to settle the rift between them and the oil firm.

The community in a letter to the Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State, said Olugbobiri and Olugboro communities of Olodiama clan in Southern Ijaw are the hosts to the facility operated by Nigerian Agip Oil Company, NAOC.

The letter signed by the CDC Chairman of Ologboro, Mr Wisdom Bazighe and the Traditional Ruler, Chief Ebilatei Berepigi, said Agip had in defiance of existing agreements to develop the host communities, sidelined Olugboro in employment, development projects and community contracts.

The community said that the breach of a 1973 agreement with NAOC following the joint release of the 13.6 hectares land hosting the flow station and several oil wells since the late 1990s had led to frosty relations which has kept degenerating.

The community disclosed that for over 48years of Agip’s operation in the area, no indigene of Olugboro has been employed by the company, neither junior, senior or even on contract staff, decrying that the development has alienated them.

The letter reads in part, “Another source of pain between Agip and the Olugboboro community is the company’s deliberate refusal to consider Olugboboro Indigenes for service contracts.

“As a host community we are deprived of the community contracts quota that is a standard practice, even the jobs reserved for host communities Community Content Guidelines have eluded us.

“Agip reserves certain categories of jobs for other host communities, but the reverse is the case for Olugboboro community.

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