On Thursday, angry youths from the Agbidiama Community in the Ekeremor Local Government Area of the State of Bayelsa staged a protest and shut down the Clough Creek flow station owned by Nigeria’s Shell Petroleum Production Company (SPDC).
As gathered by Daily Times, they accused the SPDC of failing to provide jobs and empowerment schemes, refusing to include indigenous catering companies and neglecting the group and its leadership.
Mr Torke Ekpetun, President of the Agbidiama Youth Council, has accused SPDC and other oil-service companies operating in the region of abandoning their community development obligations.
He reported that, since 2018, an allied company, Clinthwealth Nigeria Limited, contracted by the Shell Petroleum Production Company to provide services at its oilfield in the region, had ignored, among other grievances, the community youths.
Ekpetun said, “We frown at the current situation whereby host communities will bear the adverse impacts of operations of these oil companies with little or no benefit.
“We are yearning for dialogue to resolve all issues. They (SPDC and others) have refused to recognise a duly constituted youth leadership in employment matters.”
In a reaction, the Media Relations Manager, SPDC, Mr Bamidele Odugbesan, said the oil company valued a cordial relationship with its host communities and would not do anything to undermine it.
He said, “It is a long-standing policy of SPDC to provide opportunities for its host communities, including but not limited to community contracts, scholarships at different levels, economic empowerment programmes such as LiveWIRE, healthcare support like the Oloibiri health programme and COVID-19 equipment donations to Bayelsa and other states.
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“We also have GMoU community development programme that funds community projects decided by the communities.
“As we strive for a stronger relationship with our host communities, we are open to discussions on any complaints for an amicable resolution.”
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