By Udeme Akpan
UGBORODO—A community in the Escravos area of Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State, yesterday, protested against JAD Catering Services, in Lagos over its alleged unwillingness to pay part of contract proceeds to the community.
The community also petitioned the National Petroleum Investment Management Services, NAPIMS, Corporate Services Unit, CSU in the Exploration and Production, E&P, Directorate of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, to take note of the development.
The community, whose members blocked the entrance to Chevron Nigeria Limited premises to register its protest, disclosed in a document that it was the support of the community that enabled JAD to win the contract in 2009.
In the document by its representatives, Dr. Benson Babine, Mr. Bawo Neburagho, Mr. Alfred Ebami, Prince D.O. Omunu and Madam Deborah Edah, it stated that JAD had before then entered into an agreement to pay a particular sum of money to a dedicated community account, adding that the company had since stopped to pay the agreed amount.
“It will be recalled that in 1999, the then administration in the place, in a bid to ameliorate the sufferings of the people of the Niger Delta and to foster inclusiveness, signed into law, the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act 2010 (popularly referred to as the Local Content Law).
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“By this position, the host communities were given the right of first refusal in the award process of certain contracts. This suggests that host communities can source for and/or recommend a company with requisite capacity to represent their interest in the case where none from the community has such capacity.”
“JAD Catering Services Limited, JAD falls within the category of one of such companies that was nominated by the Ugborodo people to represent her interest. Expectedly, a memorandum of understanding was signed between all interested parties at that time.”
“It is however, very sad to note that after many years of JAD’s operation in the territory and having benefitted immensely from the goodwill and magnanimity of the Ugborodo people, it had rather than fulfilling its socio-corporate responsibility to the host community in terms of human capital and infrastructural development, engaged itself pitching one group of the community against another for its own selfish interest.