09 June 2014, Uyo – Akwa Ibom State indigenes have demanded a 100 per cent participation in oil and gas sector to take full advantage of the Nigerian Content Law.
The President, Ibom Oil and Gas Community Development Association, Dr. Ebenezer Ukpe, lamented that out of 1,008 oil and gas servicing firms operating in Mobil field, none belongs to an indigene of Akwa Ibom State.
Ukpe said this in Uyo on Monday during a meeting with the Nigerian Local Content Development and Monitoring Board.
He said the oil and gas companies that are operating within the shores of the state are not cooperating with the provisions of the Nigerian Content Law and Monitoring Board by providing opportunities for indigenous companies to thrive.
He called on the board to impress it upon oil and gas companies in the area to effectively implement the provisions of the board by ensuring Akwa Ibom indigenes to participate fully in oil and gas sector.
“We are looking for 100 per cent participation of the indigenes of Akwa Ibom State in oil and gas sector.
“We have to participate; we have to be there; we have to know what is happening on our land; we have to know what our rights are, and we have to receive our rights without prejudice,” he said.
He stated that the body will employ peaceful means to achieve its objectives. He added that even if negotiations fail, the body will rely on the Nigerian content law to press forward its demand.
He said, “We are not going to be restive on any manner and we do not intend to be. What we need is negotiation, and when negotiation fails, we will know where to go.
“One of the places we intend to go is the Nigerian Content Board. The board as the implementer of the content policy specifies that every indigene of a community where oil is produced must be involved in the production process.”
He urged oil and gas companies doing business in the state to train indigenes in various areas of oil and gas operations as IBOGAS will no longer tolerate foreign employees.
Zonal Coordinator, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, Mr. Uduak Obot, commended President Jonathan for signing the Nigerian Content Bill into law.
– The Punch