Crude Oil Drilling: Akwa Ibom commissioner, Orman Esin in fraudulent pacts with Moni Palo …community spoils for war
Fraudulent activities in on going crude oil drilling in Uruan Local Government by the Akwa Ibom State Government, and the Commissioner for Transport and Petroleum Resources, Mr. Orman Esin, are piling up discontentment and aggression in oil bearing communities in Uruan.
Our reporter gathered that the Akwa Ibom State Government through the Petroleum Resources arm of the Ministry of Transport has forfeited the rights of the crude oil bearing Community to negotiate with oil companies operating in their domain.
This medium gathered that Mr. Orman Esin is arrogantly pushing to take 20 out of the 40 job slots allotted to Adadia community by Moni Pulo Limited, the company licensed to drill crude oil in the community.
Independent investigations by our special project reporter revealed that Moni Pulo signed an agreement with Adadia on employment quota that will be given to the community as the company begins drilling there.
A party to the agreement which was signed at the Ministry of Transport and Petroleum Resources a month ago told our reporter that Orman Esin is bent on taking 20 positions from the 40 which was given the community in the agreement.
Esin was said to have told the Adadia Oil and Gas committee that he must take 20 slots from the employment quota given to Adadia and share to politicians in the State.
This is coming a month after Adadia village council shared the number of job slots given to the community to the different families that make up Adadia.
40 people who were selected by the respective families for the employment have undergone necessary health checks and were supposed to start training last week.
It is believed that Orman Esin’s insistence to take 20 slots of the job which Adadia community has kicked against because it was not discussed during the signing of the agreement which Esin supervised, has delayed the commencement of the training.
A member of the Adadia village council, Emmanuel Asuquo Bassey who spoke our reporter said there will be crisis of unimaginable degree if the any attempt is made to take away the slot given to the community.
“At the point of negotiation when the list of Labour to be supplied by the host community was discussed, the Commissioner did not tell us that he will take 20 slots for politicians.
So what we discussed with our people was 40 job slots and that have been shared and possible beneficiaries have been selected and have undergone health and security screening, so the sudden demand made by Orman Esin last week is strange to and will cause crisis that will overwhelm the State”.
Orman Esin who was said to have usurped executive powers by being the one negotiating for the community. Esin was said to have decided for the community amount that should be collected as haulage fee, hence raking over N900,000 to himself.
This newspaper was told that the community proposed N25,000 as haulage fee per truck, but Esin insisted that the company should pay N15,000 to the community and N10,000 to him.
Our source said the foul play was exposed when the company was supposed to pay for the 91 trucks which were already in Adadia, Orman Esin said the company should pay the community for 50 trucks.
The source claimed that there were pieces of information that the company paid N10,000 on each of the 91 trucks to Orman Esin.
Further to this, it can be reported authoritatively that the Commissioner had raised an invoice and appointed an agent for the collection of government’s share of the haulage, but the agent has been sidelined because the Commissioner does want to pay him a commission. Staff of the Ministry are used for the collection.
Orman Esin and the Director of Petroleum in the Ministry have also usurped their supervisory powers by insisting that they should be the ones to negotiate salaries and wages for those from that community that will be employed in the company.
Esin was alleged to have gone ahead to instruct that Adadia community should not demand for land rent yet from the company. The directive has been resisted by the oil and gas committee of Adadia.
Orman Esin is alleged to have threatened some members of the Adadia oil and gas committee who have been very vociferous in protesting some of the decisions which Esin’s ministry tried to force on them.
More than four mass protests have been reported in Adadia between January and last week against Moni Pulo.
However, Orman Esin’s meddlesomeness and usurp of power in dealing with oil bearing communities in the State has been worrisome.
He was said to have taken 17 of the employment slots given to Esuk Odu, another community in Uruan, by the drilling company operating there.
Two weeks ago Orman Esin arbitrarily went to disband the oil and gas committee in Eket, a decision he later rescind when crisis began to brew over it.
There are contentions that the State government does not have constitutional powers to legislate on petroleum matters.
Meanwhile, there are protests that there is no legislative backing setting up the petroleum matters arm of the Ministry of Transport and Petroleum Resources in Akwa Ibom State.
Source: Peace Letters Newspaper
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