The President of the Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, Eric Omare, has drawn the attention of the Federal Government and other relevant stakeholders to Chevron’s discriminatory policy on employment of Niger Delta host community indigenes, as he called on both the state and federal governments to prevail on Chevron before it is too late.
Eric Omare made this call on Tuesday in Warri, during a press briefing with GbaramatuVoice.
According to Eric Omare, Chevron had refused, after several attempts, to engage beneficiaries of host communities of Ijaw, Itsekiri and Ilaje extraction who underwent a Vocational Training Programme (VTP) 5 & 6 sponsored by the company, while it (Chevron) went ahead to engage beneficiaries of VTP 1 to 4 who are mainly from outside the host communities.
In his words, “The VTP 5 & 6 had the highest number of indigenes of host communities. Before the commencement of the training, they were asked to resign all their previous employments. The training has been completed for the past six years and Chevron refused to engage them.
“Chevron earlier promised to engage them as soon as oil price in the international market improves, but the price has improved yet Chevron refused to engage them.
“There have been several protests to states and federal government, traditional rulers, Chevron, the National Assembly and even security agencies to no avail.”
The IYC President further lamented the poor employment policy of Chevron whereby most indigenes were employed mainly as technicians while those from outside the host communities were engaged as Engineers, a situation which he described as “apartheid employment”.
“Only last year, an aptitude test was done for those from outside host communities in Abuja where several Engineers were employed whereas host community indigenes were left out.
“The implication of this discriminatory employment policy is that the community technicians are the ones doing the actual work on the field with requisite qualification but they cannot grow or be promoted in the employment to the level of Engineers employed from outside the host communities.
“The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) totally rejects this apartheid employment policy against host community indigenes by Chevron.”
While accusing Chevron of operating two employment policy, one for host communities and the other for family members of top management including those outside host communities, he said such action was one of the cause of persistent crisis in the region.
“Chevron adopts two set of employment policy for their workers in operation; one for the host communities and another for those from outside the host communities and family members of top management staff of Chevron.
“We wish to put on record that it is discriminatory treatment such as this that is responsible for the persistent crisis in the oil bearing communities against multinationals such as Chevron.”
He therefore called on the state and federal governments to do the needful as the youths may be forced to take their destiny into their hands.
“The IYC therefore call on the Delta, Ondo, Bayelsa and federal government to act now before it is too late.
“Chevron should be directed to as a matter of urgency employ all the Ijaw, Itsekiri and Ilaje community indigenes who went through the Chevron VTP 5 and 6 without delay,” he added.