The National Association of Itsekiri Graduates (NAIG) Worldwide has issued a 28-day ultimatum to Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) to commence the reclassification of Itsekiri graduates under its Vocational Training Programmes (VTP 5 and 6) and Operational Training Programme (OTP 2).
The group made the call in a statement signed by the NAIG’s President and General Secretary, Mr Ben Eburajolo and Mr Esiategiwa Mino, respectively, on Monday in Warri.
Eburajolo, who read a copy of the statement at a media briefing, said that the association would not hesitate to disrupt operations of the multinational in its communities, should it fail to respond to their demands.
The group also demanded the immediate resumption of development in Oil Producing Areas and provision of light and potable drinking water to Itsekiri host communities.
Eburajolo said that the graduates were competent in their various locations and did not violate the company’s laid down rules.
He said that the reclassification of the affected graduates should be backdated, noting that they had completed the practical side of the training.
“Their reclassification should be backdated to January 2016 and January 2017 for VTP5/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,” he said.
Eburajolo said that the graduates were working in their respective organisations when Chevron promised them employment with good pay after their training.
He alleged that the late Olu of Warri, Ogiame Ikenwoli, intervened on the matter in 2017 adding that the CNL management promised to do the needful in 2018.
The group’s leader said that CNL had always claimed a dropped in crude oil prices as the reason for not reclassifying the affected graduates, noting that those on VTP4 were reclassified when the price was below $40/bbl.
He noted that the prices of crude oil had risen and had been stable to above $70/bbl.
However, a staff of the CNL who did not want to be mentioned, simply said that the claim “was not true”. (NAN)