Warri – The Ijaw Youths Congress( IYC) , has accussed Heritage Energy Operational Services, Limited (HEOSL) ,operators of Operational Mining Licence (OML) 30 of impoverishing Niger -Deltans while making non Niger-Deltans billionaires from their activities in the region .
President of the IYC , Barr. Eric Omare who stated this during a press conference in Warri , decried a situation where the company owed local contractors for more than two years for jobs already executed.
He alleged that the Board of Directors of the company, rather than pay contractors, pay themselves and their cronies.
” When they refuse to pay the local contractors, they pay their own companies.
”In other words, what they do is this, the company has a Board of Directors , and those Board of Directors have subsidiaries of small, small companies with which they take contracts that are ordinarily ought to go to the local contractors and when it’s time for payment, they pay themselves .
” The implication is that, instead of that money being spent in the local environment here, it is transported out of the Niger-Delta region, and in most cases , out of the country .
” The resultant effect, is the overwhelming and increasing poverty we are seeing in the entirety of the Delta environment with potentials to create militancy in the region because, in most cases, people result to militancy because they do not have means of survival ”’.
Speaking further, Omare submitted that despite the fact that things were not totally the way they were expected to be , the living condition of the people of Niger Delta ,was far better during Shell Petroleum Development Company. (SPDC) than what it is today; adding that Heritage Operational Services Limited(HEOSL) has become a curse rather than a blessing to the people which include Isoko. Itsekiri,and Ijaw,and Urhobo in its area of operations ..
He called on President Muhammadu Buhari through the Minister of State,Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Mr. Timipriye Silver , to look in to the issues raised and nip it in the bud, before it escalates to destruction of oil facilities, and revoke the operational licence of Heritage Energy Operational Services Ltd, for lack of resource and competency to manage the OML 30.
He also pointed out the issue of employment and accused the holders of the operational mining licence of recruiting from outside of the Niger Delta region to the detriment of the local people who have the requisite qualification to be employed.
Meanwhile , the General Manager ,Community Relations of Heritage Energy Operational Services Ltd, Mr. Sylvester Okoh when contacted on the issues raised by the IYC, said he was not in the right position to speak on it’ and promised to call back but was yet to do so as at press time.