• Monday, June 24, 2024
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Fubara voices concerns over FG’s award of pipeline protection contract to ‘one man’

Abuja’s court arrow hits Rivers N800bn budget law

Siminalayi Fubara, Rivers State Governor, openly expressed criticism of the Federal Government’s decision to exclusively award a contract for the protection of crude oil pipelines to a single individual.

The governor made these remarks on Saturday during a visit by a Federal Government delegation tasked with discussing the security of oil and gas assets at the Government House in Port Harcourt, the state capital. The delegation was led by the National Security Adviser (NSA), Nuhu Ribadu.

This critique comes in the wake of a decision taken in August 2022 by Mele Kyari, the Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, to defend the government’s selection of Tantita Security Services, under the leadership of former militant leader Government Ekpemepulo, also known as Tompolo, for a multi-billion naira pipeline surveillance contract.

While refraining from specifying any particular individual, the Rivers State Governor cast doubt on the efficacy of the federal government’s strategy, contending that it is unlikely to achieve the desired outcomes.

He emphasised the inherent challenges associated with an individual exercising control over assets located within another entity’s jurisdiction.

Fubara, visibly concerned about what he perceives as the state’s disregard by the federal government, urged the visiting delegation to ensure that their efforts yield mutually beneficial results for both the federal and state governments.

Read also:TotalEnergies MD waves bye to Fubara, pleads for protection of pipelines

He advised them to engage with grassroots communities to gain a deeper understanding of the prevailing circumstances within the Niger Delta region. This emphasis on local engagement underscores the governor’s commitment to promoting a comprehensive and informed approach to addressing the complex issues in the area.

The governor said, “Security of pipeline should not be given to one man or one person. How can someone from Kalabari be controlling the pipeline in Ogoni? There is no way it will work.

“We must look at bringing all the key people in the various communities.

“Two of our sons from Bayelsa and Akwa Ibom are heading the ministry of petroleum. We don’t want them to fail. We must give them the necessary support.”

Read also:Fubara open to criticism to do better, cautions against politics of bitterness

The governor advised the delegation to ensure they engage with the appropriate individuals who possess the requisite information. He pointed out that Rivers State, under the leadership of its immediate past governor, Nyesom Wike, vigorously combated illegal crude oil refining, emphasising his commitment to maintaining these high standards.

He also expressed his belief that the Niger Delta region is not reaping the full benefits it should, considering its significant contribution to the national economy.

Meanwhile, the National Security Adviser (NSA) disclosed that the delegation had received a mandate from President Bola Tinubu to combat crude oil theft and illegal petroleum product refining during their visit to Rivers and other Niger Delta states.

Accompanying the NSA were high-ranking officials, including the Chief of Defence Staff, General Christopher Gwabin Musa, and the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja. Additionally, the delegation included the Minister of Defence, Muhammed Badaru, the Minister of State for Defence, Bello Matawalle, the Minister of State (Oil) for Petroleum Resources, Heineken Lokpobiri, and the Minister of State (Gas) for Petroleum Resources, Ekperipe Ekpo.