Indigenous contractors of Conoil Producing Nigeria Limited in Koluama community of Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State have threatened to shut down operations of the company over unpaid debt of more than N400 million.
The indigenous contractors, under the auspices of Conoil Ango Field Marine Spread Contractors, claimed the oil major owed them for about 10 months for the barges and tugboats it hired from them for its operations.
In a petition to His Royal Highness, J.T.C. Leghemo, Chairman of Oil and Gas, Koluama clan; 16 Brigade Commander, Yenagoa, Bayelsa and the Gunboat Commander, Bayelsa, the contractors said they had patiently waited since December 2016 until September 2017 but the company was yet to pay them for their services and equipment.
The contractors said, ‘”This is to bring to your notice again that the marine spread payment has taken too long a time and that we plead with you to please effect our payment without delay. We have been patiently waiting for almost 10 months now.
We, the indigenous marine equipment contractors have resolved that if we do not receive any reasonable months’ payment this week, we will have no other option but to prevent your flowstation equipment or materials from entering our locality, Koluama, to your site.”
The petition, which was signed by 10 of the contractors: Chief Amadein Moses, Belief Leghemo, Mathias Sam, Tibiebi Amadein and Lloyd Sese. Others were Christian Omietimi, Amos Imelekedi, Levi Wilson, Francis O. Francis and Boma Leghemo, said the development was brewing trouble among the community folks who threatened to disrupt the company’s activities over the alleged indebtedness.
When our reporter contacted Mr. Richard Edegbeai, the Public Affairs Manager of Conoil, he confirmed that the company was owing the contractors, and urged them to exercise patience as the company was making frantic efforts to pay them.