Oil monitoring group defends NAPIMS over alleged marginalization
By Jimmy Lace, Warri
The Niger Delta Indigenous Movement for Radical Change (NDIMRC) has defended the National Petroleum Investment Management Services ( NAPIMS) over alleged marginalization of the Itsekiri, Ijaw and Ilaje coastal Communities.
The Concerned Itsekiri, Ijaw and Ilaje coastal communities in an open letter to President Mohammadu Buhari published in one of the national dailies, had accused NAPIMS and Chevron Nigeria Limited of marginalization and urged the President to intervene to avoid chaos in the riverine communities.
But NDIMRC, in a press statement signed By its President ( Nelly Emma), Secretary (John Sailor) and Public Relations Officer( PRO), Stanley Mukoro, rose in defence of NAPIMS, a subsidiary of NNPC.
According to the group, the accusation should be directed only to Chevron Nigeria Limited.
The oil monitoring group wrote, “Our attention has been drawn to an open letter to President Mohammadu Buhari by Concerned Itsekiri, Ijaw and Ilaje coastal communities on marginalization by NAPIMS and Chevron Nigeria limited: ‘An imminent invitation to chaos’ and we hereby exonerate NAPIMS from the accusation.
“We are not here to hold brief for NAPIMS, but if the truth must be told, there is nothing like “Cabals” in NAPIMS that are out to marginalize the people. We should not blame NAPIMS, rather we should blame Chevron for the marginalization of the people in our riverine communities of Itsekiri, Ijaw and Ilaje, the group said.
It also stated that; “NAPIMS to the best of our knowledge has been supporting our local contractors and the neglected people of the Niger Delta region. The manipulation of contracts and the marginalization of our people are being carried out by Chevron. Chevron has been frustrating qualified contractors and capable hands that are supposed to be employed in their area of operations, but this has not been” the group wrote.
It added that, “NAPIMS is only approving contracts brought before it by Chevron. Chevron is the brain behind manipulation of contracts and not NAPIMS. Those in Chevron are in the habit of splashing their mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, relatives and friends with contracts to the detriment of our people. Let no one blame NAPIMS for what our people are passing through.”
“Our communities are capable of providing qualified contractors and capable hands to work in the RIG for use by Chevron in their exploration and production of crude oil and gas, but are being denied such opportunities by Chevron and not NAPIMS and this why we are defending NAPIMS and to say to the whole that the accusation against NAPIMS by the Concerned Itsekiri, Ijaw and Ilaje coastal communities is not right, the group said.
The group stated further that;” The last time, a RIG was brought to Niger Delta region for operations, 70% of Contracts and Employments were given to the host communities and at that time, the host communities and local contractors have not built up the capacity that they have now. At the moment, our local contractors that have built up capacity as a result of the Nigerian Local Content can even handle drilling as a result of the modern equipment that they have acquired for the Oil and Gas industry in the country. Unfortunately, our local contractors are being frustrated by top officials of Chevron Nigeria Limited who are dishing juicy contracts to their relatives and foreign collaborators. We are sure that what the managers of Chevron are doing to our people is not part of the Change of President Muhammadu Buhari.”
The group however appealed to NAPIMS to make efforts to resolve issues involving the communities and Chevron to subdue the anger of the people.