President Muhammadu Buhari

The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) on Wednesday decried alleged non-compliance with the Nigerian Local Content Law by indigenous oil firms in the Niger Delta.

The IYC said in Yenagoa that the non- compliance had impoverished the people.

In an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, the President and Spokesman of IYC, Messrs Eric Omare and Henry Iyalla, respectively, noted that the law was binding on all operators in the oil and gas industry.

According to the group, the indigenous oil field operators have relegated the Niger Delta communities, entrepreneurs and contractors to the background.

The group claimed that since the beginning of the implementation of the law of 2010, the situation in the Niger Delta had not improved significantly.

It said that the poverty rate in the oil and gas communities had increased.

“The Nigerian owners of the divested assets, apart from acquiring the oil fields, have incorporated multitude of companies with which they execute nearly all contracts in the value chain of their operations.

“This is to the detriment of the local Niger Delta contractors.

“Apart from the fact that most of their jobs are awarded to companies in which they have interest, even where a few Niger Delta contractors are engaged, they deliberately refuse to pay them sometimes for up to two years.

“Just as they give contracts that ought to be done by the local contractors to their relatives and suffocate companies, they also give available employment opportunities that ought to be given to indigenes of the host communities to their relatives to the detriment of the people of the host communities,”IYC said.

It called on the Federal Government to prevail on the indigenous oil field operators to ensure compliance with the Local Content Law, pay contractors and employ graduates and youths from the region.

It also said that the government, through the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, should investigate the activities of the indigenous oil field owners.