The Udu Traditional Council, Otor-Udu, Udu local government area of Delta state has given Nigerian Petroleum Development Company Ltd (NPDC) 14 days ultimatum over total neglect in providing social amenities and non employment of one indigene since their exploration of Oil and gas in the community over 30 years ago.
The ultimatum which was issued by the Sir (Chief) Sam E. Odibo JP, the Otota (Spokesman) of Udu Kingdom, and copied the Vice President, MD, NPDC Benin, Asset Manager, NPDC, H. E. Delta State Governor, Udu House of Assembly Member, Chairman Udu LGA, DPO, Ovwian-Aladja and others said failure to meet up their demands after the expiration of their ultimatum, their operation will be shutdown.
The statement reads in parts, “It is about 30years since your Company (NPDC) commenced Oil & Gas exploration and exploitation in Udu kingdom. To present a clearer and more precise perspective, NPDC is presently operating 8 oil wells in Emadadja community, 2 oil wells in Ubogo, 1 in Oghior, 5 in Ukpiovwin, and 3 in Otor-Udu; a total of 18 oil wells.
“Another 2 new oil wells are being drilled to bring the total number of Oil wells to 21. Over and above these, the same NPDC is operating 2 gas wells in Ukpiovwin and 11 gas wells in Otor-Udu; a total of 13 Gas wells.
“One of the wells in Ukpiovwin, specifically Gas well number 12, is the largest producer of gas in the whole of West Africa. All of these Oil & Gas wells mentioned above are in Udu kingdom or Udu Local Government Area of Delta State.
“The Federal Character Principle was adopted in the early 1980’s while the Nigerian Local Content Policy followed about a decade or 2 later. As you read us, and with all of the numerous Oil & Gas wells, NPDC hasn’t even ONE indigene – (boy or girl, man or woman) – on its payroll.
“NPDC has forever found it convenient, and has therefore continued to adduce reasons upon excuses; and had fabricated one excuse or the other fettering their hands into inactivity and it has become impossible for any institution, including Udu traditional council, to convince aggrieved indigenes about this monumental neglect and obnoxious posture of your company.
“We are informing them that the patience of Udu kingdom which has continued to be battered and bruised for the past 30 years has finally been crushed and expiated. Therefore, if within 14 days, from the date of this memo, NPDC is unable to show both God and man (Udu and the world) a list of Udu indigenes in NPDC’s pensionable staff, we shall surely stop your operations in all the Gas wells and Oil wells in Udu kingdom/communities.
“Without deliberately inviting the attention of NPDC to this gross and historical Human Resources deprivation, they ought to know, as a responsible company, their responsibilities to the communities in their area of operation. Over the years, there have been several failed attempts at getting your Establishment to manifest their natural obligations, either by way of Federal Character or Local Content Policy or both and more.
“Over the years, our Oil and Gas are piped away without any records. For nearly 10 years now, your proposal to build a Flow station in the Abura field in Udu LGA has been at the drawing board stage. To the extent that Udu has hardly been known to be Oil producing.
“This has had its ripple effects on the kingdom. For instance, we have not been given our due at the DESOPADEC because the quantum of Oil and Gas Udu produces is not known. We demand the immediate commencement of the construction of the Flow station.
“We do not need to expend further energy in expounding other failed/neglected/ignored social corporate responsibilities. The palace has over this period been in its temporary site. We believe you can construct a befitting palace at Otor-Udu and relocate our monarch to the Udu Traditional Headquarters.
“We therefore appeal that you take this on soonest as one of your veritable socio-corporate responsibilities to Udu kingdom. It is not possible that Udu is good enough only to be exploited.
“God would not hate/punish Udu to the extent of not giving us a person employable even as Head driver, Head security guard or Chief clerk; a trainee-engineer not to mention. NPDC has been most community unfriendly.”