Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): The Bahrain Oil Company (Bapco) hired dozens of foreign workers earlier this year, at a time when the number of unemployed citizens in the country is increasing, new information revealed.
The information revealed that at least 200 Asian nationals, most of whom believed to be from India, joined the company before the Coronavirus outbreak in the country.
Since Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Khalifa took over the management of oil, dependence on foreigners in the company has increased.
Mohammed bin Khalifa is the son of Bahrain Defence Force Commander-in-Chief Khalifa bin Ahmed, who Bahrainis also complain about for his reliance on Pakistani and Jordanian nationals in the military.
Since 2011, Khalifa bin Ahmed has pushed for the hiring of military retirees at the oil company to mitigate the effects of labor protests.
At the time, Bapco received retired soldiers to work in the company's various departments, but they were unable to do so.
A source familiar with the training said that the company trained foreigners to enable them to work at the company's refinery.
The refinery is currently operating at its lowest capacity due to declining demand on refined oil as a result of reduced transport traffic in consuming countries, as one of the effects of freezing unnecessary activities to strengthen efforts to contain the epidemic.
The source added that the company used to rely on Bahrainis, however, today one can find many naturalized people and a lot of foreigners.
"Filipinos and Indians have been employed, naturalized people have been hired over the past years and Bahrainis have been forced to train them... In fact, this approach has pushed many Bahrainis to retire."
The government has long confirmed that it is working towards creating job opportunities for Bahrainis, but the figures do not support its claims.
The percentage of foreigners working in government institutions is about 28%, while the country's unemployment rate is estimated at around 15%, but the government claims the number is much lower.
The government launched a national employment project in February last year to contain the worsening unemployment crisis.
While Labor Minister Jameel Hmaidan was saying that the number of the unemployed doesn't exceed 5,000, he said that 20,000 unemployed people had registered in the project.
The parliament set up a committee to investigate the Bahrainization of jobs. However, MPs concluded that the government had resorted to Bahrainizing the staff to circumvent the commission, regarding the naturalization of foreigners.