N5.6b Pipeline Contract: Sack Fever Grips Ex-Militants

0
192

There
is anxiety among former militant youths and beneficiaries of the N5.6billion
pipeline surveillance contract in the Niger Delta following report that
President Goodluck Jonathan might not renew the contract.
The
contract has been due for renewal since February, but it was gathered that the
president is unwilling to renew it due to perceived failure of Alhaji Asari
Dokubo, Boyloaf, Farah Dagogo and some other beneficiaries to justify the
payment in Bayelsa and Rivers states where attacks on oil facilites have
cripped crude oil production.

The
development led to panic by about 5,000 pipeline guards, who besieged the
offices of Oil Field Surveillance Limited, the contractor handling the project
in Delta State.

Niger
Delta activist, Comrade Paul Bebenimibo, cautioned President Jonathan against
bowing to pressure to suspend the multibillion naira contracts awarded to
former militant leaders in the region. He said terminating the contract would
lead to fresh crisis in the Niger Delta, worse that the Boko Haram insurgence.
Bebenimibo
said, “I want to advise Mr. President against cancelling the surveillance
contract because doing so would unleash a fresh crisis in the region. People
have blamed the crisis of Boko Haram (in the north) on poverty; but I can
assure you that Boko Haram will be a child’s play compared to what will happen
here.
“This
contract is vital to the President’s transformation agenda. I don’t agree that
the contract failed in Delta State. Oil companies and security agencies will
attest that incident of bunkering and vandalism have gone down drastically. It
has also helped in maintaining peace and security in the Niger Delta region
because over 10,000 youths are currently employed in the programme and laying
them off will plunge them and their families further into poverty.
“In
spite of the failures you talked about, the contract has led to steady rise in
the volume of crude oil production, especially in Delta State, where it has
recorded a huge degree of success,” he added.
Responding
to our question on renewing the contract Bayelsa and Rivers where beneficiaries
have failed to combat illegal bunkering, Bebenimibo advised the Ministry of
Petroleum Resources and Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to meet
with the beneficiaries to forge a way forward, maintaining that cancellation
would be counterproductive.
Besides,
he called for the commencement of the other stages of the contract in Ondo, Edo
and Akwa Ibom states in order to achieve the 30,000 employment slots earmarked
in the original deal struck between Chief Ekpemupolo a.k.a Tompolo and the late
former President Umar Yar’Adua.
Source:
The Nation

LEAVE A REPLY

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.