May 26, 2024

Reps member writes Agip over “skewed policies’, warns of consequences

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*Hon Preye Oseke, member of House of Representatives, Southern Ijaw Federal Constituency, in Bayelsa State.

Nathan Tamarapreye, Yenagoa

A member of the Federal House of Representatives from Bayelsa has written to Eni Group, the parent company of Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC), on the need to address the brewing discontent in the operational areas.

The legislator, Preye Oseke who represents Southern Ijaw Federal Constituency noted that there is an imminent civil disorder and breakdown of law across the Niger Delta, arising from “skewed internal operations” of Agip.

The letter dated June 23, 2022, was signed by Oseke, who is also Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream).

The letter, a reminder to an earlier one, was addressed to the Managing Director Eni Group, Piazza Ezio Vanoni in Milan, Italy.

The lawmaker regretted that one year after the first official complaints were lodged, the status quo remains till now, as no efforts have been made by NAOC’s management to effect meaningful changes with respect to the company’s skewed internal operations.

It would be recalled that the National Assembly members from NAOC operating states in the Niger Delta had in June 2021 drawn the attention of the management to abuse of the federal character principle in her operations, pointing out that virtually all senior management positions are occupied by personnel from one ethnic group.

They described the development as unconstitutional and a breach of Sections 14(3) and (4) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended on the application of the federal character principle.

They subsequently demanded that the scenario be “reversed and corrected as it was capable of throwing the three states of Delta, Bayelsa and Rivers into the chaos that will negatively impact the company’s operations in the region.

According to Oseke, following the failure of Eni Group to address the issues, affected staff members and their respective communities have resumed subtle reminders, even agitations in some cases, an experience they noted was becoming heightened and tensed by the day.

“About a year ago, several official complaints were received from constituents in Bayelsa, Rivers and Delta States, all of which reported the skewed internal operations of the Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC) Limited.

“The experience of other federal lawmakers from the Niger Delta region was not any different.

“This was the backdrop against which ten (10) federal legislators made frantic efforts at checking the likely breakdown of law and order in the region, at the time.  “Some of such legislative interventions included holding meetings with NAOC management in which appeals were made, with corresponding promises from your company to act swiftly.

“Based on such assurances that were received from NAOC, legislators reverted to constituents, reassuring them of a soon-coming change.

“Sadly, however, the status quo had remained till now, as no efforts have been made by NAOC’s management to effect meaningful changes with respect to the company’s skewed internal operations. As such, affected staff members and their respective communities have resumed subtle reminders, even agitations in some cases, an experience that is becoming heightened and tensed by the day.

“Hence, this appeal seeks to both remind you of commitments, assurance and promises NAOC had made earlier, the need to act on prayers as they appear in the attached letter, and timely too.

“Indeed, this is the panacea to forestall the looming breakdown of law and order,” the letter read in part.

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