Sylvester Idowu in Warri
The Delta State Government has urged the federal government to renew pipelines surveillance contracts aimed at preventing pipeline vandalism and other criminal activities that might disrupt oil and gas
Special Adviser to the Governor on Niger Delta Affairs, Chief Gritson Omatsuli made the call at a news conference held in Warri, Delta State at the weekend.
He described those calling for the cancellation of the pipelines surveillance services contract as “enemies of the country.”
He observed that the thrust of the meeting was to appeal to the federal government to allow the Pipeline Infrastructure Nigeria Limited (PINL) to continue with its services of securing the pipelines.
He appealed to the federal government to allow PINL to continue with the good work following its outstanding performance in securing the national assets.
PINL, a former Ocean Marine Solutions 40, 42 and 30 renders various services across the Niger Delta to operators and key players in the oil and gas sector of the economy.
The firm has been operating since 2017 providing security services in the Trans-Forcados, Escravos-Warri and OMS 40 (Trans Benin River-Otumara) crude oil pipelines in Delta.
Omatsuli, former Commissioner representing Itsekiri ethnic nationality on the board of the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC), said withdrawal of the surveillance services would amount to encouraging criminalities in the Niger Delta.
According to him, withdrawing the services of the surveillance companies will worsen the pipeline vandalism and by implication reduce revenue accruing to the Federal Government.
Also, an opinion leader, Dr. Jeffery in Olero, a community in Warri North Local Government Area, Mr Canaan Ajagbawa, said oil bunkering had reduced drastically in communities following the operations of PINL.
Jeffery noted that the best way to secure pipelines was “to involve the communities in their protection. The PINL came with a formula to engage the communities in the job. Most of the workers were community-based.
Meanwhile, the Deadly Underdog of Egbema Kingdom has challenged the federal government to award a percentage of the pipeline surveillance contract to former warlord, Aroni Oputu.
In a statement by its spokesman, Wilfred Elebiri yesterday, the group said it was imperative for the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation Limited to give the Egbema people their own share of the Contract to handle.
The statement said: “We wish to state that General Aroni Oputu’s agitation for Egbema Kingdom percentage share is burn out of the fact that the people of Egbema kingdom in Warri North have been side-lined over the years whereas the kingdom has so many oil fields been drilled by Chevron, NPDC, Conoil and so on.
“Billions of naira is been drilled in our father land and we have no hold in the Pipeline Surveillance Contract hence we have come out in full to throw our weight behind Aroni Oputu’s agitation that the Surveillance Contract should be share and our own domain should be manage by him.
“It is on record that Aroni Oputu had served former governors of Delta State as special adviser on security. It is also a proven fact that Aroni Oputu has contributed tremendously to the long existing peace the people of Egbema kingdom and the Niger Delta are enjoying today.”