The National Association of Itsekiri Graduates Worldwide has issued a 28-day ultimatum to Chevron Nigeria Limited 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, Ben Eburajolo and Esiategiwa Mino, respectively, on Monday in Warri.
Mr Eburajolo, who read a copy of the statement at a media briefing, said 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 the provision of light and potable drinking water to Itsekiri host communities.
Mr Eburajolo added that the graduates were competent in their various locations and did not violate the company’s laid-down rules.
He explained that the reclassification of the affected graduates should be backdated, noting that they completed the practical side of the training.
“Their reclassification should be backdated to January 2016 and January 2017 for VTP5/OTP2 and VTP6, respectively,” Mr Eburajolo noted. “CNL should resume Operation and Maintenance (O&M) training with employment in view, immediately as enshrined in our Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with you.”
According to him, the graduates were gainfully employed until Chevron invited them for training, promising to hire them. He stated that the late Olu of Warri, Ogiame Ikenwoli, intervened in 2017 adding that the CNL management promised to do the needful in 2018.
The group’s leader claimed that CNL had always claimed a drop 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 crude oil prices had risen and had been stable to above $70/bbl.