INVESTIGATION! How crude oil pipelines surveillance contract was awarded to Tompolo, Olu of Warri, others
Controversy, accusation and innuendo has undoubtedly trail the recent crude Oil pipelines Surveillance Contract awarded by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), to the former leader of the defunct Movement for Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND), High Chief Government Ekpemupolo aka Tompolo.
To separate facts from fictions and assumptions in ways that will assist douse, among Nigerians, conflicting reactions and utter confusion occasioned by asymmetrical interpretations, misunderstanding of some facts surrounding the the surveillance contract, GbaramatuVoice, a leading multimedia organization in the Niger Delta conducted an inquiry/investigations into the issue.
Fundamentally, our source close to the NNPC Limited made it crystal clear that this is not the first time Tompolo is being awarded with such a contract. In his words, “Tompolo was reportedly awarded similar contract in 2012 under President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, which he seamlessly executed with no record of failure, wrong doing or blame until it was for yet to be identified reason(s), terminated by the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration.
He further revealed that the contract was thereafter handed over to Ocean Marine Solution Limited (OMSL), a company owned by the late Captain Hosa Okunbo. For the emphasis and purposes of clarity, Captain Hosa OKunbo is the father-in-law to the present Olu of Warri. In 2019, before the shocking death of Captain Hosa, His Majesty, Ogiame Atuwatse III, Was appointed as the acting Chairman of the Ocean Marine Solution Limited. Upon his death, he became the substantive Chairman of the company.
The source added that under the new crude Oil pipelines Surveillance regime, The Federal Government via the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) awarded to Tompolo Crude Oil pipelines Surveillance Contract in Delta and Bayelsa states while PIPELINES INFRASTRUCTURE LIMITED, a company wholly owned by the Olu of Warri, got RIVERS and AKWA IBOM States. The third part of that contract, which is from Nembe to Bonny, was awarded to another company.
The source added that it is evident that the Crude Oil pipelines Surveillance Contract was not wholly awarded to Chief Tompolo alone, as claimed in some quarters. There are other major beneficiaries. The likes of Olu of Warri have benefited in the past, and are still benefiting.
According to him, “This new contract awarded to Tompolo did not in any way terminate the already existing security contracts in the oil and gas sector, awarded to, and enjoyed by the likes of Olu of Warri and others. It is therefore, clear that those fighting Tompolo for being in charge of Rivers state and others do not have the ingrained details about the contract. They are, as a matter of fact, fighting the wrong person/entities. Their agitation is not laced in merit. They are not channeling their grievance(s) to the right contractor or appropriate authorities.
In a related development, while noting that Chief Tompolo is fitted with capacity to stop crude oil Sabotage and siphoning rackets and other criminal gangs in the Niger Delta region, another source, who happens to dwell in one of the coastal communities in Delta state, observed with satisfaction that Chief Tompolo have started on a very good note by meeting all the critical stakeholders from Bayelsa and Delta states.
To further support his claim, he noted that immediately after his meeting with this critical stakeholders, a large number of those involved in the illegal refineries who listen to him at the meeting have started withdrawing from such act particularly its harmful effect on the environment.
The community dweller further explained that the people are particularly happy that the programme (pipelines Surveillance Contract) will create youth employment and develop a climate of sustainable future and innovation in the Niger Delta region looking at the way Chief Tompolo is handling it.
In his words, “the contract will definitely promote sustained and inclusive economic growth, peace, social development and environmental protection as these men and women to be employed from various communities in Bayelsa and Delta states will have their salaries paid directly into their bank accounts.”