By Edith Ike-Eboh
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) says it did not exclude people living with disability in its ongoing recruitment process.
Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, NNPC Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in Abuja, on Tuesday.
“We have a corporate policy here and we do employ many of the physically challenged persons in the corporation. We have one with us here at the corporate affairs division.
“We have them accommodated also in this ongoing recruitment and also under our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) we have helped a lot of the physically challenged, especially in the Niger Delta area,’’ he said.
Ughamadu further said that the Corporation had been fair to the group and would continue to do so even with the recruitment process.
Earlier, Mr Godstime Onyegbula, President of the Physically Challenged Applicants said the group has been protesting to express non inclusion in the ongoing NNPC recruitment.
“We are here to fight for minimum of five per cent employment opportunity to be given to people living with disability as provided by law.
“We have written to NNPC several times making them to understand that in the ongoing recruitment we were not included.
“This is because in their form there is no provision to indicate the nature of disabled to be employed.
“Several times we have written to them, no response, sometimes when we come here, we will be embarrassed by the security men. Sometime, they will chase us always, now we have come in our numbers from the 36 states and FCT,’’ he said.
He added that it has become imperative for NNPC to include them as the president has signed into law the Disability Act.
He further noted that most of its member are graduates and some with Masters degrees and could do any form of work with support of gadgets.
In a related development, another group led by the Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC), staged a protest at the NNPC towers, demanding the immediate revocation of Oil Prospecting License, OPL, 245 allocated to Malabu, which was later sold to Shell and Eni.
The protesters also called for the prosecution of individuals involved in the controversial deal.
Speaking on behalf of the protesters, National Coordinator, National Malabu Awareness Coalition, Mr Shina Odugbemi stated that six years ago, reports were rife that one of Nigeria’s richest oil field, OPL 245, was sold in shady circumstances.
He pointed out that the former Minister of Petroleum, Dan Etete, who was convicted for money laundering in France owned Malabu Oil and Gas adding that he has registered the company with a fictitious name of Kweku Amafegha.
He noted that half of 1.1 billion dollars paid to Malabu for the procurement was consummated through bribes to Nigeria politicians and intermediaries who helped to secure the controversial deal.