The National Association of Itsekiri Graduates (NAIG) Worldwide has given Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) a 28-day ultimatum to commence the reclassification of Itsekiri graduates under its Vocational Training Programmes (VTP 5 and 6) and Operational Training Programme (OTP 2).
NAIG’s President and General Secretary, Mr. Ben Eburajolo and Mr Esiategiwa Mino respectively, at a press conference in Warri, Delta State, threatened that the association would shut down operations of the multinational oil company in their communities should it failed to respond accordingly.
They said the reclassification of the affected graduates should be backdated, noting that they have completed the on-the-job learning, and that the graduates are competent in their various locations, and did not violate the company’s laid down rules.
“Their reclassification should be backdated to January 2016 and January 2017 for VTPS/OTP2 and VTP6 respectively. CNL should resume Operation and Maintenance (O&M) training with employment in view immediately as enshrined in our Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with you.
“Community development in oil producing areas should resume back immediately while all Itsekiri host communities to CNL be given electricity and potable water.”
Eburajolo, on his part, lamented that the graduates were working in their respective organisations when Chevron promised them employment with good pay after their training.
He said the late Olu of Warri, Ogiame Ikenwoli, intervened in the matter in 2017, adding that the CNL management promised to do the needful in 2018.
Eburajolo also alleged that they reported the matter at the National Assembly in 2019 but all to no avail.
The group leader added that CNL had always claimed dropped in crude oil prices as the reason for not reclassifying them, noting that those on VTP4 were reclassified with a price below $40/bbl.
He, however, noted that the prices of crude oil had risen and stable to above $70/bbl.
“The plights of our brothers and sisters in VTPS/OTP2 and VTP6 call for urgent attention, and below are some of salient points why they must be reclassified on or before our ultimatum elapses.
“They were promised employment and asked to resign from their former jobs by CNL management. Hence, the reason they left their high paying jobs to pass through the operations and maintenance training at Ogere.
“Most frequently, the management of Chevron assign much task to them than the CNL employees who receive higher salaries than them.
“They are the least ranked and underpaid among CNL labour contract personnel. During the recent PENGASSAN strikes, they exceeded customer’s limits to ensure that most of the operations were not interrupted.
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