Communities Support Illegal Bunkering in Delta, Alleges NPDC

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Sylvester Idowu in Warri

The Nigeria Petroleum Development Company (NPDC)/ ND Western OML 34 AMT (Asset Management Team) JV has traced the cause of vandalism of its oil facilities and illegal oil bunkering within its operational area in Delta State to locals, surveillance guards and contractors.

 The Chief Operating Officer of NPDC/NDW OML 34 AMT, Chief Edirin Abamwa made the assertion yesterday during an interactive session with journalists in Warri, Delta State.

 The COO, who was represented at the session by Manager, Government, Community Relations and Security, Mr. Aiguedo Sheidu maintained that the collusion of the people and workers of the surveillance guards and contractors in the communities was very high.

 He disclosed that the company paid billions of naira to the contractors to guard the pipelines but its facilities were still vandalised by illegal bunkers who ply their trades in the area, adding that the “Community people who were supposed to speak, it is either they are afraid to speak or they are benefitting from the activities of the illegal bunkers in their communities.

 “Someone’s properties was destroyed recently and was ostracised at Otor-Edo. Once they suspect you’re the one who gave the company information, they destroy your properties,” he said.

 Chief Abamwa said the activities of the illegal bunkers, which was increasing in its area of operations, had equally caused a serious disaster as well, recalling that “they destroyed our oil facilities. The illegal bunkers returned to the impacted areas to cause more destruction and in the process the illegal bunkering activities destroyed the environment.”

 The COO of NPDC/ND Western OML 34 AMT gave a frightening dimension into the illegal activities when he alleged that children and women are now being recruited into the illicit business in the various Communities.

 While noting that he would not exonerate anyone particularly the Security Operatives from the activities of illegal bunkers, Chief  Abamwa said the challenges facing NPDC/ND Western were enormous, disclosing that it recently shut down its operations because of illegal bunkerers and their activities.

 He however said the Company was employing the use of ” technology ” to improve the monitoring of its facilities adding “We are employing technology to enhance our monitoring capacity and at the same time, trying to dig our feet on the ground so that when our lines are vandalised, we suspend you and cancel your contract.”

 Despite all the challenges, Chief Abamwa assured that NPDC/ ND Western JV, as a company, would continue to increase its level of awareness for the Communities.