By Ibrahim Garba
The discovery of oil in the north is a national development that is worth celebrating as it would bring about several national developments, provide many employment opportunities to citizens, and enhance the nation’s economic state.
Nigerians, especially northerners, celebrated the news break of the success recorded in Bauchi, north-eastern Nigeria, hoping that the citizens are going to benefit from such a remarkable achievement of president Buhari’s led administration as the Federal Government signed an agreement of establishing a power plant and fertilizer-producing company in the area.
Besides, for oil to be discovered, it has to go through specific series of activities, an operation called SEISMIC, A geological data acquisition operation that leads to the discovery of a hydrocarbon reservoir, which is the key foundation to any success recorded in oil discovery, hence it requires rigorous activities of hard work with persistence and perseverance from the management function and indeed the labourers who are responsible for the entire hard work surrounding the seismic operations.
Also, Seismic is such a difficult job that comes with a series of hard work ranging from carrying and laying heavy loads of cable, drilling machines, and stems, among other equipment and material needed for the operation. It is usual for seismicity to work from 6 am to 6 pm, seven days every week, without any complaints because that is the nature of the work. Still, to JV209, a seismic joint venture between the subsidiary of NNPC Integrated Data Services Limited (IDSL) and that of China National Petroleum Corporation CNPC, Bureau Geophysical Prospecting (BGP) workers, the case is different, as the company introduces and succeeded in night operation.
Wholeheartedly the workers stand through thick and thin, thereby enduring the extreme cold weather and highly scorching sunshine of the region as the work cuts across the entire season, where workers often get drenched due to heavy rainfall during the wet season.
The workers on the field are left with no option of which route to follow while working in the bush because the lines to work on are preassigned and therefore have to pass through every nook and cranny, thereby climbing mountains, entering water bodies penetrating through thick forest in the course of discharging their duty.
Notwithstanding, the sacrifices of the workers did not go in vain as the crew recorded the highest production ever in the country and yielded positive results of quality data, and was able to complete an estimated two years project in just a year, which should have been paid for if extended to the said period.
Unfortunately, some workers lament that they were promised a certain amount of money after work by the crew management, which is yet to be fulfilled. Almost every worker was admitted to a crew clinic and some to a medical centre in the state capital during the operation only the sacrifice of staying a year away from our family with a lower salary should be rewarded” and cite their ability to finish two years project in one which if extended to that period they would be paid for it.
Above all, the government should try and fulfil such promises, as failure is a significant threat to the nation’s security. We are not done with militants, bandits, and insurgents, among other security challenges bedevilling the country’s growth and required development.
The workers should follow the right way of pressing home their demands. This may hinder the progress to the logical conclusion of the project, which will be detrimental to all and sundry.
Ibrahim Garba writes From Bauchi.