The Rivers Professionals Group (RPG) has accused the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) of excluding citizens of the state from its recruitment exercise of 2013.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, Princess Milner-Amadi, spokesperson of the RPG, alleged that the recruitment exercise was skewed in favour of the south-west and the north, with only six candidates from Bonny “which the Kingdom painstakingly negotiated as part of the memorandum of understanding”.
She said since the major shareholder of the NLNG was the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), they expected the exercise to have a national outlook.
Milner-Amadi said “the manipulation and total hijack of the process by powerful interest groups” undermined the interest of the host state, and other affected minority groups.
“The management of NLNG commenced a recruitment process in 2013, the outcome of which was evidently skewed, in favour of people from a particular geo-political zone – southwest to be precise,” she alleged.
“Following protests by powerful northern interests, the process was stalled for two years. Sustained lobbying and defiance of the powerful northern interests, ensured the management succumbed to their request, conceding fourteen additional slots to people from that region.
“Rivers state has been a good host to the NLNG since its inception. Apart from the sacrifices made by her people, and the attendant environmental impact suffered as host, the state has provided a healthy and conducive environment for their business to thrive.
“The state has consistently supported the company and stood by them, even at great political cost. Only recently, the Rivers state governor, his excellency, governor Nyesom Wike CON, in solidarity with the company, publicly spoke against the amendment of the NLNG Act. Therefore, we find it very disturbing, that indigenes of the state were strategically schemed out of the employment process.
“This treacherous act of exclusion is a personal affront on the government and people of Rivers state, who have consistently stood by the company.”
She asked that the governor and state house of assembly immediately summon the management of NLNG to explain this “brazen act of treachery against the state”.
“Suspend the recruitment process, until this injustice is corrected. Insist that competent Rivers state indigenes – which we all know the state is not in short supply of – be included in the process,” Milner-Amadi added.
“Insist 14 additional slots (apart from the slots ceded to Bonny Kingdom), be given to indigenes of Rivers state. Demand an undertaking against such exclusionist tendencies in the future. Compel NLNG to hold a special graduate trainee Recruitment for Rivers state indigenes to compete amongst themselves.”