Open Letter to Governor of Rivers State
CONCERNED STAKEHOLDERS OF ELEME
No. 7 Catholic Road, Alesa Eleme, Rivers State
Tel: 07033328630, 08099870080 + E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
CHIEF (BARR.) NYESOM EZENWO WIKE (CON) GSSRS
Executive Governor of Rivers State
Thro: The Executive Chairman, Eleme LGA
DENIAL OF ELEME YOUTHS OF EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES IN THE ON-GOING TURN AROUND MAINTENANCE IN PORT HARCOURT REFINING COMPANY (PHRC) BY PIVOT GIS LIMITED,AN ACTION FUELING BREACH OF THE PEACE AND INSECURITY IN THE AREA
We write as Concerned Stakeholders of Eleme origin to formally submit this petition against Messrs PIVOT GIS Limited, a foreign company with local partners in Nigeria undertaking the Turn-Around Maintenance (TAM), a project worth over Fifty Million (50million) US Dollars at the Port Harcourt Refining Company (PHRC) in Alesa Eleme, Eleme Local Government Area of Rivers State.
Your Excellency, our grouse with Messrs PIVOT GIS Limited is that, the company is surreptitiously engaging youths brought in from other parts of Nigeria to undertake unskilled jobs which ordinarily should be given to youths in the host community where the company is based as provided by extant Labour Laws of Rivers State and Nigeria.
In fact, available information at our disposal shows that Pivot GIS Limited have so far employed over Three hundred (300) unskilled labours and awarded several supply contracts in the on-going Turn Around Maintenance project at the Port Harcourt Refining Company in Alesa with complete disregard for the interest of the host Community and the youths, thereby fueling agitations and imminent crisis in the area. Please see attached, document of Pivot GIS obtained showing list of persons employed so far with less than 3% from Eleme Community contrary to provisions and guidelines of Rivers State Government on Employment Quota for Host Communities by the PHRC dated 7th January, 2000.
Your Excellency, you will recall that, the Conclusion of the Government of Rivers State on the Report of the Commission of Inquiry into Eleme, Ogu and Okrika Communal Conflicts headed by Hon. Justice S.E. Charles-Granville as Chairman, recommended as follows and I quote: “On employment issues with Port Harcourt Refining Company Limited alone and the Turn Around Maintenance (TAM), the ratio that should be adopted in the employment/award of contracts should be as follows: Eleme 50% of the workforce; Okrika 20% of the workforce, Rivers people 20% of the workforce and other Nigerians 10% of the workforce”. See attached, a copy of the Hon. Justice S.E. Charles-Granville Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the Eleme, Ogu and Okrika Communal Conflict/ Conclusion of the Government of Rivers State on the Report of the Commission of Inquiry dated 7th January, 2000.
The Report also recommended that the Rivers State Government should have a representative in the Joint Community Relation Committee (JCRC) and explore the possibility of an increase in the budget of PHRC Ltd for its host Community projects. On this point Sir, we wish to appeal to His Excellency, the Governor of Rivers State to direct the Chairman of Eleme Local Government Council to replace the present members of Joint Community Relation Committee (JCRC) forthwith, seeing that the present members of the body led by one Mr. Emmanuel Enod Dibiah seem to have lost touch with the essence of the existence of the JCRC.
Your Excellency, we will not hesitate to state here that, the JCRC led by Mr. Emmanuel Enod Dibiah has failed totally seeing that it has not been able to attract, initiate and implement/or complete one known functional Community Development Project in the Host Community since his assumption of office as chairman of JCRC over 5years ago. In fact, rather than pursue Community interest for the overall benefit of the people, the JCRC under Mr. E. Dibiah has allegedly connived with Pivot GIS Limited to divert and sell employment slots meant for youths in Eleme host communities. Unlike the practice in the past, JCRC under Emmanuel Enod Dibiah has failed to ensure that Pivot GIS Limited sign an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) to appropriately direct their operations and provide for considerations for the host communities. We therefore strongly call for the removal of Mr. E.E. Dibiah as failure to do so will provoke widespread protest and violence by irate youths who have since lost confidence in the ability of the present JCRC of Mr. Emmanuel Enod Dibiah to represent their interest.
Your Excellency Sir, as you may be aware, unemployment amongst the youths in difficult times as this when things are so hard is the bane of the rising insecurity in Eleme and across the state. We suspect that the incessant abduction and kidnap plots for purposes of criminal ransom seeking in Eleme is not unconnected with the denial of youths in the area of employment opportunities in companies in the area. Hence, as Concerned Stakeholders of Eleme origin, we think that in order to contain such excesses and criminality in the area, we should forward this protest letter with specific requests for the engagement of Eleme youths to guarantee save and peaceful atmosphere for the smooth on-going maintenance work and operations at the Refinery. We will appreciate if this request is given the urgency it deserves to avert any ugly incident in the area.
Furthermore, our prayers are clearly stated as follows: i) That Pivot GIS Limited should forthwith engage 50% of its workforce from Eleme Community as provided by the Government of Rivers State Justice Charles Granville Commission of Inquiry; ii) That, Pivot GIS Limited should immediately meet and consult with Eleme people and relevant stakeholders to write, enter and sign an MoU to protect the interests of the host communities; iii) That, job opportunities and positions usually reserved for the Community during Turn Around Maintenance (TAM) such as (a) Community Liaison Officer (CLO); (b) Personnel Manager; (c) Safety Officer; (d) Store Keeper and (e) Time Keeper should be given to Eleme Host Communities. That, 50% of all supply contracts and sub-contracts be duly given to Eleme Community as provided in the Justice Granville Recommendation. That, all employment and contract quota due Eleme Community be routed through O-E’la Obor Eleme (The General Assembly of Eleme People) being the apex socio-cultural organization of the people.
May we also state here that, we shall not hesitate to take legal actions should there be further delay by Pivot GIS Limited and her collaborators to deny the host communities their entitlements and rights.
Lastly, may we use this opportunity to reaffirm our support for you the Governor of Rivers State, His Excellency, Chief (Barr.) Nyesom Ezenwo Wike who upon assumption of office as Governor of Rivers State has done so much to bring about an impressive and commendable transformation across the state.
Should you require contacting us for further information, please do not hesitate to call us on: 07033328630 or 08099870080.
Thank you in anticipation for your prompt and favourable response.
For: Concerned Stakeholders of Eleme Origin
Hon. Johnson Emere Mba-Ngei
Cc: The Commissioner of Police, Rivers State Command
The Director, Directorate of State Security (DSS), Rivers State
HRM, Sir., Dr. P.O. Obele JP., Acting Oneh Eh Eleme X
The GMD, NNPC Towers, Abuja
The Executive Chairman, Eleme Local Government Council
The President – General of O-E’la Obor Eleme
The Area Commander, Eleme Area Command
The DPO, PHRC Division
The DSS, Eleme LGA
The Managing Director, PHRC