By Young Erhiurhoro,
Aggrieved youths from oil producing communities hosting the OML 30 oil field in Delta State have asked the Federal Government to revoke the Oil Mining Licence (OML) issued to Heritage Oil Services Ltd.
The youths who spoke to our correspondent at their various communities placed their grievances on the negligence of the oil company to meet up with the demands and needs of their various communities.
Speaking to our reporter at Uwheru community, a youth leader who sought anonymity said, “All we are saying is that, we are tired of Heritage Oil Services Ltd.
The company should pack out of our land. Since this oil company took over the management of oil facilities in OML 30 from NPDC, we discovered that this company is worse than NPDC in terms of community relations and service delivery. All agreed terms in the GMoU are sidelined by the company management. As we speak, we even heard that the CDB have shut down all the flow stations in the OML 30.
“This is just the beginning of their troubles. Do you know that, all through the year, the company won’t do anything like empowerment programme or skill acquisition training for the youths? In this case, if we are annoyed and say, we won’t allow the company to operate, then the government will say the youths are too violent. All we ask the Federal Government to do for us to avoid further agitations, is to withdraw the licence of operation from the company and a new oil company that can carry us along should come in.”
Speaking in the same vein, the chairman of Unenurhie community youths, Mr. Friday Diamond aka ‘Ogbo’ said, “Heritage Oil Services Ltd is a failed company as far as we are concerned. First, for more than three years now, the company hasn’t been able to pay scholarship entitlements due our children in secondary schools and those in the higher institutions.
“Even in our community here, many of the people will accuse the leaders of siphoning the scholarship money into their personal pockets. Yet, there was nothing of such. But the truth is that, the company had refused to pay. As a leader, if you can’t manage such false information well, before you know, it has degenerated to a crisis situation where innocent people might be killed and personal properties destroyed.
“Secondly, they should pay their contractors handling various contracts in the OML 30 oil field. For instance, oil pipeline guards and its maintenance ad-hoc staff are being owed number of months without payment.
Thirdly, the company is not keeping to the terms of agreement in the GMoU especially in the execution of projects. The company has suddenly turned to be like the Nigerian government that would award a project to a community and later abandoned it after such a community had clapped for them.
“Therefore, my sole message here is for the oil company to quit our land. We don’t need their services anymore. Any moment from now, we will protest to the office of the governor of the state to present our grievances and demands,” Diamond said.
Addressing our correspondent immediately after an indoor meeting held by some youths in Enhwe community in Isoko South Local Government Area of the state, one of the youth leaders, who also spoke on conditions of anonymity said, “Does it mean that we won’t benefit from the natural resources in our own land? Oil was discovered in this land for over sixty years now.
As a press man, you can move round the entire community and see things for yourself. In fact, it’s a very pathetic situation with us here.
“Well, I don’t know whether there is a kind of cabal in our community that are benefiting from the proceeds of the oil operations in this land. But outside this, which I think our leaders can also do, the oil company itself is poor in terms of community relations and service delivery. The company should live up to its responsibilities and attend to the needs and requests of the people. For us the youths, the company should give us empowerment and organize skills acquisition training for us,” he said.
However, efforts to speak to the community relations manager of Heritage Oil Services Ltd, Warri for their response on the demands of the youths proved abortive.
Meanwhile, as at the time of filing in this report, it was reported that oil facilities in OML 30 oil field in Delta State were shut down by the various oil producing communities.