Youths from Bonny Island, Rivers State, have accused the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Company of marginalisation following their exclusion from the firm’s 2012 technical training and employment programme.
The group, which spoke under the aegis of Bonny Youth Federation, described the development as an attempt to deny indigenes of the Island and Rivers State the benefit of the gas company in their area.
But the firm insisted that it had always given special consideration to youths of the Island in employment.
Leader of the group, Mr. Gift Furo, in Port Harcourt on Monday, said Bonny youths would resist any attempt by the new Managing Director of the company, Mr. Babs Omotowa, to introduce “a regime of marginalisation and subjugation”.
Furo claimed that the group made efforts to make the NLNG change its decision on the 33-man list of those to be recruited for training and employment.
He added, The “NLNG had recently enlisted 33 names as beneficiaries of its 2012 technical training and employment programme, and had conspicuously and deliberately left out the names of Bonny indigenes, a community that bears the burden of dangerous emission of life-threatening gases that saturate her atmosphere from the NLNG plant in Bonny.”
NLNG Manager, Communication and Public Relations, Mr. Ifeanyi Mbanefo, however, said the company had been fair to the people of the area.
Mbanefo, who spoke with our correspondent on the telephone, explained that the company advertised for recruitment in two national dailies, with a view to getting the best hands for vacant positions.
He maintained that rigorous process of recruitment never meant that Bonny youths were not given concession, adding that the company had always recruited qualified youths in the area.