OYOGist.com has learned that the Senator representing Eket Senatorial District, Dr Akon Eyakenyi, has called for the reinstatement of workers of Akwa Ibom extraction recently sacked by ExxonMobil.
This was contained in a statement signed by the Senator in Uyo. Mrs Eyakenyi pointed out that ExxonMobil firm has continued to treat Akwa Ibom State and matters relating to her citizens with high level of disdain.
She condemned in strong terms, the discriminatory treatment of Akwa Ibom workers in the Company, saying that the peaceful and hospitable nature of Akwa Ibom people over the decades has been misinterpreted by ExxonMobil to mean weakness and helplessness.
While describing the company’s continued exploitation of Akwa Ibom State as ‘a case of robbing Peter to pay Paul’, Eyakenyi reminded the Company of its failure to build a Technical Skills Acquisition Facility at Community Technical College, Ikot Akata, Mkpat Enin Local Government Area; Trauma Center at the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital and an Engineering Faculty Complex at the University of Uyo Permanent Campus, as promised in 2018.
“Akwa Ibom State also suffers brazen discrimination with respect to ExxonMobil’s employment policies. While most of Akwa Ibom citizens are employed as contract staff, others from outside the State are taken as permanent staff of the company.
“This explains why Akwa Ibom State has always been the worst hit each time ExxonMobil retrenches its workers. Statistics of the recent massive retrenchment of staffers of the company reveals that over 75% of the people sacked are Akwa Ibom natives. Is ExxonMobil telling the world that Akwa Ibom State does not have skilled people it can employ on permanent basis? She asked.
“Over the years, there has been several cases of oil spillages leading to monumental damages to the fauna and flora within the host communities’ ecosystem. These spillages have equally led to the loss of the means of livelihood of the people within ExxonMobil’s host communities. Farmers and fishermen for instance, suffer greatly, the effects of such spillages most times without adequate compensations”, part of the statement read.
While demanding the reinstatement of all recently sacked workers of the Company (permanent and contract staff) of Akwa Ibom origin, Senator Eyakenyi also demanded to know ExxonMobil’s employment policy with respect to its host communities.
She further called for an appraisal of the Company’s Corporate Social Responsibility for the past 65 years, saying “we are ready to take it up with ExxonMobil once and for all. Enough is enough”.