A former Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Nduese Essien, has said oil companies in the Niger Delta were laying off contractors and workers because of the delay in releasing funds for the Joint Venture Cash Calls (JVC) to oil companies by the Federal Government.
The former House of Representatives member spoke in a statement yesterday in Abuja.
According to him, the Federal Government’s delay in meeting its financial obligations to the oil companies led to the termination of contracts with service operators.
Essien said the operators have in turn laid off their workers thereby compounding the unemployment situation in the country.
He said: “The joint cash calls to the petroleum industry are always suffering delayed payments. Currently, some operators have laid off some of their services contractors who have equally laid off their workers, thus compounding the unemployment situation.”
The former minister said the Federal Government was setting wrong priorities for itself by budgeting N2.2 billion for Ruga settlement.
When we were thinking that the Federal Government had suspended the Ruga project, behold the Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, Ita Enang, has just alerted the country that a provision of N2.2 billion had already been made in the 2019 budget for the scheme and that money had always been spent on Ruga. The National Assembly should as soon as possible, vire the provision for Ruga to other uses to clear itself of complicity in this scheme,” he added.