Sylvester Idowu in Warri
Right activists in Gbaramatu kingdom wednesday petitioned the Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Kacalla Baru, over the award of oil pipeline surveillance contracts to non-indigenous companies.
They warned against renewing the oil and gas facilities surveillance contract awarded to a non-indigenous firm, Ocean Marine Surveillance Limited, over the years.
In the petition signed by Isaac Bobo and Williams Welemu, they alleged that the company was forging signatures of Gbaramatu kingdom community chairmen to mislead relevant authorities as “if the communities have accepted the renewal of the said contracts.
“We maintain that such contracts should not be renewed, it should be reviewed and awarded to indigenous contractors in the kingdom,” it added.
The petitioners frowned at the attempt by Ocean Marine Surveillance company, operated by a non-indigenous contractor, to renew the pipelines surveillance contracts awarded to the company by the NNPC.
The activists said surveillance of oil pipelines in Gbaramatu kingdom would be best carried out by the indigenes of the kingdom compared to non-indigenous contractors and also inline with the local content act.
The duo, on behalf of Gbaramatu host communities, demanded that oil pipelines surveillance contracts be awarded to indigenous contractors and youths in the kingdom as a way of providing job for the teeming un-employed youths in the kingdom.
They reiterated that surveillance contracts were supposed to be awarded to the local communities who are host to oil and gas producing companies, adding that “This will end agitation and continuous attacks on oil facilities by aggrieved persons and as such will create job and give such locals a sense of belonging.
“This practice of awarding surveillance contracts to non-indigenous contractors are widespread in the Niger Delta region which was another reason behind pipeline vandalism.”
They advised that NNPC should not be deceived into believing that the Gbaramatu people were endorsing Ocean Marine Surveillance and should not renew the contract since it does not go down well with the kingdom.