Pipeline Surveillance Contracts: Bid winners met necessary requirements, not concentrated in the North – CSOs


By Abiodun OBA

Those who won the pipelines surveillance contracts by the Mele Kyari-led Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited NNPCL met the necessary requirements.

This was posited by the Oil and Gas stakeholders and members of the Conference of Civil Society Groups for Good Governance CSGGG while disputing allegations of sectionalism in the contact awards.

President of CSGGG, Dominic Ogakwu at a news conference Sunday in Abuja, said the outcry had become imperative in the face of sustained unwarranted smear campaign against the “landmark achievements and the continued progress of NNPCL as it charts the course to becoming the dynamic global energy company.”

Recall, the President, Ijaw Youth Council IYC Worldwide, Jonathan Lokpobiri had last Friday specifically slammed the NNPCL for ethnicizing oil pipeline maintenance contracts, alleging that the contracts have all been ceded to northerners.

Speaking on a breakfast show on Arise TV monitored in Lagos, Lokpobiri said it was disheartening that Niger Deltans would be excluded from such contracts.

He also alleged that 75 percent of appointments in the agencies and departments under the Petroleum ministry were concentrated in the North.

However, while not calling names, Ogakwu said some people were peddling gross misinformation and unsubstantiated allegations on oil pipeline rehabilitation as well as surveillance contracts.

“This has now been adopted as a weapon of choice in the hands of these unpatriotic elements. It is obvious to all well-meaning Nigerians that some wolves are expending a lot of negative energies to discredit Kyari, in order to push him out of office and have unfettered access to seize and manipulate state resources to their personal advantage,” he said during the briefing.

Continuing, he noted: “The recent attempts are not new and amount to red herring when there is absolutely no need or iota of facts about the allegations. The claim of ‘quietly awarding the control of Nigeria’s pipelines to a Northern oil cabal’ is not only fallacious, figment of the writers and their sponsors’ imagination but cowardly and begs the question.

“Furthermore, we are not unmindful that some individuals are double bent on creating mountains out of nothing over the award of pipeline surveillance contracts to qualified and performing entities and not them.

“Pipelines surveillance is not a tea party as recent events have shown. Therefore, being an ex-militant is not enough qualification to be awarded such a critical task. The priority of NNPC Limited is to ensure a safe and secure oil infrastructure and functional pipeline corridor to sustainably deliver national production targets.

“There is nothing personal to Mele Kyari and management of NNPC Limited, rather than what is possible and best for the country.

“In about this period, Nigeria’s oil production has seen significant improvement through the curbing of waves of mindless theft of Nigeria’s oil by criminal elements. This initiative has seen many seizures of tankers laden with illegal crude and the discovery of a four-kilometer illegal oil connection line from Forcados Terminal into the sea which had been in operation for nine years.

“Nigerians will not be wrong to believe that beneficiaries of this heinous economic crime will fight back in anyway their influence can afford as their pockets gets dry.

“On the issue of refineries, the timeline of December remains for the Port Harcourt refinery to be back on stream and ameliorate the present difficulty occasioned by a spike in forex. It must be stated that the NNPCL has no controls over monetary and fiscal policies but has continued to work hard to address forex shortages through strategic interventions in this regard.

“We urge those who are hell-bent to undermine the transformative leadership of President Bola Tinubu to have a rethink and stop the meaningless agitations and threats. Rather they can add a positive voice to support the progress and growth of NNPC Limited under the patriotic leadership of Mele Kyari.”


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