Senate Backs N48bn Pipeline Surveillance Contract Awarded to Tompolo’s Company

The N48 billion pipeline monitoring contract awarded to a company headed by Mr. Government Ekpemupolo received backing from the Senate yesterday (a.k.a Tompolo).

The federal government granted Global West Vessel Specialist Limited, a private maritime security company created by Ekpemupolo, a former commander of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, the N48 billion pipeline surveillance contract (MEND).

The Tompolo-owned company was tasked with safeguarding the oil pipelines that traversed almost all of the Niger Delta’s states.

Some stakeholders had voiced resistance to the N4 billion per month deal that includes parts of Bayelsa, Imo, Imo, Delta, and Ondo.

There is nothing wrong with contracting with non-state actors to secure oil pipelines, according to Senator Albert Bassey Akpan (PDP, Akwa Ibom), chairman of the Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream).

He claimed that oil theft had destroyed the nation’s ability to produce oil and had cost the nation roughly $2 billion this year alone.

The Senator claimed that significant export facilities, the Bonny and Forcados Terminals, were closed for more than seven months as a result of pipeline theft and damage.

He pointed out that as the nation’s oil production capacity has increased, the recent pipeline surveillance contract to combat oil theft is producing favorable results.

There are formal and informal methods for resolving the matter, he noted. We have no objections to the contract provided it was properly negotiated and processed, and if it produces the expected results, I don’t see anything wrong with it.

“We applaud the NNPCL’s move. The Forcado terminals are currently restoring 500,000 barrels per day to our national output.

“The first 87,000 barrels per day were received at the Bonny terminals just about five days ago. Therefore, things are improving.

Since the production would have been shortened and you can anticipate the impact on investment because investors will hold back if they cannot, this indicates that the government’s recent limited action has produced favorable consequences.
“Despite the PIA, the government has not attracted the desired investment in the oil and gas industry because what is produced is stolen,”
After the investigation, the ad hoc committee said that all stakeholders must accept collective responsibility for what has happened to the country’s oil and gas industry, but it did not reveal who was behind the theft of crude oil.
According to Akpan, assigning blame will not stop oil theft.
“Well-meaning members of the public must be encouraged to report illegal activities and transactions in stolen crude oil that may come to their knowledge from any part of the world,” the panel stated in its recommendations. “Curtailing crude oil theft should be a collective responsibility.”
“Nigeria should seek international financial cooperation to check illegal Letters of Credit used to fund the sale and purchase of Nigeria’s stolen crude, as such illegal crude sales can only be transacted through the world financial system,” the statement reads.
In addition, it urged the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission to implement a real-time online monitoring system for all upstream oil and gas production platforms to guarantee an accurate count of production volume.
He stated, “When it comes to theft, we all must accept collective responsibility; as an ad hoc committee, we could not even recommend the death penalty.”
The enactment of the Petroleum Industry Act had anticipated the need to address all issues pertaining to the benefits enjoyed by host communities.
“However, when you consider the magnitude of the theft and the amount involved, it destroys the essence of what the host community trust fund was intended to accomplish.
According to records, the nation has lost N22 billion since January.How much of a deficit does the nation have if we lose $2 billion? That would be almost N1.3 trillion, which would have reduced our fiscal deficit and improved the capital budget’s implementation.
“We can’t permit crooks to push the country to the brink of collapse.”We are not here to apportion much blame, because when you do that, you don’t get anything solved,” I believe the committee has done a lot of work.
“Everyone needs to take responsibility;In addition, the executive must accept responsibility.because it is impossible to explain how an 8-inch oil pipeline connects to a 6-inch pipeline 8 kilometers into the high sea.
“It is a cartel everywhere, not just in Nigeria,”With so much money at their disposal, criminals have the power to overthrow the nation.

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