Nigeria: Group Dares Shell, Braces for Action

Published: Wed 31 Aug 2011 11:26 AM
Local Content Policy: Group Dares Shell, Braces for Action
With the Ogoni pollution problem in Rivers State yet unresolved, another trouble is brewing for the Anglo-Dutch oil and gas major, Shell, in the Niger Delta area. This time, the cause of the gathering storm is the alleged subversion by the company, of President Goodluck Jonathan administration's Local Content policy in the oil industry.
A group, the Niger Delta Indigenous Movement for Radical Change, is currently asking the mamnagement of the oil giant to play according to the rules or brace for a renewed cycle of unease.
According to them, ''we want to warn that if the unfriendly attitude of the Shell management to our local players in the oil industry continues, we will have no other option than embark on a sustained mass protest against the company. We will take our battle to their offices and operational bases everywhere in Nigeria'', the group said.
They have accordingly warned Shell Managing Director, Mr. Mutiu Sunmonu, against continued subversion of the local content policy, praying him to change his company's alleged “unfriendly attitude” to local contractors.
President of the group, Nelly Emma, Secretary John Sailor, and Publicity Secretary Mukoro Stanley, in an online statement to AkanimoReports on Tuesday, accused Shell of allegedly frustrating local contractors, particularly those from the oil-bearing communities.
But, Shell officials in Port Harcourt, the Rivers state capital, said the group may be ''economical'' with the truth. The officials claimed that the oil company's Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) encourages the empowerment of local businesses''.
The group does not appear to be persuaded. They alleged that Shell has not been giving local contractors high profile jobs like those given to Saipem and Daewoo, for instance.
“The local firms they often consider, are those they have their agents as directors. Outside such local oil servicing companies, they do not consider others for tender, even if the NNPC directs them to accommodate other local firms outside the big boys club'', the group said.

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