For The Record:NLNG has failed Finima People- By Chukwudi Ejimofor

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    We wish to draw the attention of the entire world, particularly that of the Federal Government of Nigeria, French and Italian Republics, English and Dutch Governments, Rivers State Government, National Assembly, diplomatic corps, among others to the unbecoming and wicked attitude of the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Limited.

      Since the inception of the NLNG, the company has done little or nothing to its wholly host community of Finima, that was sacrificially relocated so that the NLNG could be built, just as the community will host the newly awarded Train 7 that was recently given to a consortium of SCD JV.

        It will be of interest to note that the good people of Finima have been very peaceful and cooperative, preferring to seek attention through dialogue and decent engagement with the management of NLNG.

     However, it is obvious that the company has taken the people for granted judging from its posture and utter neglect of its very own host landlords.

       It is a shame that the NLNG cannot boast of any meaningful project in Finima, neither can the company show any concrete evidence that it has given employment to the vast teeming youth of the community, while participation in the management level is a dream.

      We have been reliably informed that NLNG Limited has gone behind the host community to obtain a Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) for lands for which they occupy and for which they have not paid a single compensation to the landlord families since the inception of the company over twenty years ago.

      Even more painful is the fact that NLNG has no respect or regard for the host community as they are treated as third-class citizens on their own land and in their own country by a company that claims to operate using the world best practices as parameters.

    A Finima daughter who was appointed General Manager, External Relations and who has retired was replaced by a non-Finima person and till date, not a single Finima son or daughter is in the management position and the company is proud of it.

        In Total E & P, a GM position is reserved for the host community but NLNG which has Total as one of its shareholders is proud that the only Finima daughter that attained the height was retired with no plan to replace her from the community, it goes a long way to truly show that the company is not partnering with its host community as stated on its website.

     The people of Finima have suffered untold hardship from the hands of a company that has not even shown the people the impact of their operations on their livelihoods and the environment. Daily, the people live in fear, unsure of what will happen now and in the future as regards the presence of such a huge facility on their land.

      The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with the community has never been implemented, even as the NLNG claims to have carried out non-existing projects in Finima. We challenge the NLNG to an open audit of its so-called projects in the community and, make them public in the media and their website. 

     The NLNG should be part of the audit to show us how many Finima Community contractors have benefited from 1999 to date and what value compared to all the contracts it has been awarding? How many Finima indigenes are employed at all levels compared to the rest of Nigeria. Charity they say begins at home and it is time for Nigeria LNG to begin to put its money where its mouth is as we have woken up and will sustain this campaign until the company demonstrates the visible change in its approach in relationship with Finima Community

    .  The company has signed many agreements it has not honoured, promises it has refused to fulfill, and obligations it shows no interest to see through, yet it claims to be full of Integrity. The community has the least trust NLNG Limited and it will take deliberate efforts by the company to win it back. It is not possible for a tenant to pay rent to someone else. Nigeria LNG had to decide for itself, what is more important to it.

     Whether it would keep and fulfill its obligations with its landlord and give them their due, not crumbs being offered; while backroom deals are being struck elsewhere or continue to appease others who play purely ceremonial roles and have no say in ensuring the business of Nigeria continues to run smoothly.

    Nobody can make that choice for the company. If Train 7 fails, the Shareholders of Nigeria LNG will also lose, so no need to play the card of only the community stands to lose. A solution that benefits Finima Community and NLNG in a mutual way is the best option.

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