January 24, 2022

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Workers kick Over Plan To Sell Bayelsa Oil Company

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Workers of the Bayelsa State Owned Oil Company Limited (BOCL) have concluded arrangements to stage a state-wide protest against the state government over its plan to sell the company as well as eight months non-payment of their salaries.
TNN’s independent investigation revealed that the governor, Seriake Dickson has directed the sales of 41 percent out of the BOCL’s 51 per cent participating interest in Atala Oil Marginal Field together with its operatorship to Halkin Global Investment Limited (HGIL).
It was learnt that if the planned sales of the BOCL scales through, all staff of the company would be laid off, while their eight months outstanding salaries may no longer be paid.
Some of the aggrieved workers who spoke to TNN on the condition of anonymity said pensioners who were yet to be paid their gratuities as well as teachers being owed minimum wage arrears were ready to join the proposed peaceful rally which would soon hold in Yenagoa, the state capital.
“For eight months now, we have not received our salaries. Our children have dropped out of school because we can no longer afford their school fees. We have been made redundant.
“As if that is not enough, we heard they want to sell over 90 percent of the company’s shares and once that is done, we are gone. Where do they want us to start from? We are not alone in the planned protest; pentioners are joining because of their unpaid gratuities, likewise teachers for their minimum wage arrears,” one of the aggrieved workers of BOCL told TNN.
It could be recalled that in a letter addressed to the Board Chairman of BOCL, Secretary/Legal Adviser to BOCL, Barr. Orua Mark had accused the state governor of collaborating with the Managing Director of the company, Mr. Ebikabowei Dorgu to sell 41 percent out of the BOCL’s shares, accusing the MD of running the affairs of the company in secrecy.
When TNN visited the headquarters of the Bayelsa state oil company at number 12, Otiotio Road, Yenizue-gene in Yenagoa, it was observed that the premises of the oil company has gone moribund, as the managing director was nowhere to be found for comments.

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