Nigerian State Compels Oil Companies to Employ Indigenes

LAGOS Jun 06, 2006 (Dow Jones Commodities News Select via Comtex) Nigeria's Bayelsa State House of Assembly has passed a law compelling oil companies operating in the state to employee people indigenous to their host communities, privately owned ChannelsTV reported late Monday.

Under Nigeria's constitution, a State House of Assembly is the is the legislative arm of the government empowered to make laws for the state.

The passage of the law came barely 24 hours after the release of eight foreign workers kidnapped offshore Bayelsa last Friday.

Disagreements between oil companies and their host communities are frequent causes of disruptions in Nigeria.

Recently, Chevron Nigeria, a unit of Chevron Corp. (CVX), was forced to defer the commencement of its Escravos gas-to-liquid operations following a disagreement with the Ugborodo community, which hosts the project. Ugborodo leaders insist provision of food services during the construction of the project must be done by indigenes.

A number of meetings between Chevron and representatives of the Ugborodo have failed to resolve the different. A new meeting is scheduled for Tuesday.

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