• Thursday, June 20, 2024
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Akwa Ibom government condemns alleged unfair treatment of indigenes by oil firm 

Eno deepens accountability in Akwa Ibom, moves to verify LG projects
Akwa Ibom State Government has condemned the alleged unfair treatment of its indigenes by an oil company operating in the state.
The company operates in the coastal areas of Ikot Abasi, Mkpat Enin and Eastern Obolo Local Government areas as it has promised to ensure the workers are treated fairly.
Assam Assam, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN)  and chairman of the tripartite negotiation committee made this known during a meeting in Uyo, the state capital.
He condemned the alleged inhumane treatment meted on Akwa Ibom indigenes employed by the company by the management and their expatriates stating that the State Government would not sit back and watch her people being humiliated by people in their State.
Assam, the Director of Government Business said, “I’m not going to stand here and get  the management of Sterling Global to insult us as a state. Tell your employers that nobody can come here to treat us badly.”
He explained that for any company to operate in Akwa Ibom State, it must identify with the state, host communities, and expatriates duly registered with the Government.
“We don’t know who is working with us, that is an exposed danger already, we need to see the list of companies working with you, they must comply with our local content rules.
“They must be made to make investments here to enable them pay taxes , we want to know who owns the company”, he added.
Assam further said that failure to provide the necessary information, the Government will revoke all land licenses and unsuspecting villagers stating that the government wants to profile people and activities in the state to avoid security breaches.
At the meeting, the  Management of Sterling Global represented by David Walker who responded to issues raised by the Chairman of the committee, Assam did not present documents about the company, the document containing the condition of service for its employees and a detailed nominal roll, their tax clearance documents.
When asked about his inability to provide the necessary documents as earlier requested,  Walker said was not authorized to do so.
He however noted that the company has a total of 3710 employees in the State working for them.
Also speaking, the Chairman, of Akwa Ibom State Internal Revenue Board, Okon Okon told the committee, that  Sterling Global has not paid any form of tax to the Akwa Ibom State Government since they started operation.
He said that each time the company was asked to pay, it always argued that they had not begun operations in the area.
The Commissioner for Labour and Manpower Planning, Aniefiok Nkom, expressed disappointment at the Company for allegedly undermining the authority of the State Government.
Present at the negotiation meeting include state Comptroller of Immigration, Jumai Babson, a representative of the DSS Eno Henshaw, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Manpower Planning, Effiong Nicholas, Glory Essien, Assistant Director Labour, Essien Ndueso, SSA to the Governor, Godwin Udo Nta, Transition Chairman, Ikot Abasi,  Mercy Bassey, Transition Chairman Mkpat Enin, Uro Bill Nango, Transition Chairman Eastern Obolo and a host of others.