March 2, 2024

Oil theft: NNPC CEO denies issuing pipeline surveillance contract ‘directly’ to Tompolo

Oredola Adeola

 

The Group Chief Executive Officer, CEO, of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company, NNPC, Limited, Mele Kyari, has denied the assertions that the Company has offered a pipeline surveillance contract to  Government Ekpemupolo also known as Tompolo, former Niger Delta agitator, insisting that the contract was awarded to a company in which Tompolo as a person, has an interest in.

 

Kyari made this known at the 49th Session of the State House, a ministerial briefing organised by  Presidential Communications Team at the State House, Abuja, on Tuesday.

 

According to him, we have taken the right decision, as this is not the first time that individuals within the Niger Delta region would be awarded a contract for pipeline surveillance.

 

The NNPC CEO said that the contract was awarded to the undisclosed company in the interest of Nigeria, adding that the Federal Government has taken the right decision to hire private contractors to man its oil pipeline network nationwide.

 

Kyari further noted that end-to-end pipeline surveillance would require the involvement of private entities, community stakeholders, and security agencies.

 

He said: “We need private contractors to man the right of way to these pipelines.

 

“So we put up a framework for contractors to come and bid and they were selected through a tender process. And we believe we made the right decision.”

 

The NNPC Ltd Boss further emphasised that the surveillance contract was signed with a company in which Tompolo has interests, noting that the Federal Government is not dealing directly with former Niger Delta ex-militant.

 

Explaining the reason for the shutting in of some pipelines across the country, the NNPC CEO noted that the decision was a deliberate one.

He added that some of the pipelines are illegally connected around Churches and Mosques.

 

He said that 295 illegal connections were discovered in one line, in less than 200 meters, and that the company with the help of the security agencies and the directive of the Chief of Defence Staff, was able to intervene.

 

He said so far, 30 Speed Boats, 179 Wooden Boats, and 37 trucks have been impounded, but that the authorities have taken the decision not to arrest any longer but to burn such confiscated products.

 

Besides, he said, 122 persons comprising highly placed individuals have been arrested between April and August and that some of them have been handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

 

He said 739 ovens for the illegal crude oil theft have been discovered and some destroyed, 344 reservoirs created and 355 cooking pots also discovered, stressing that the level of the illegal business was enormous.

 

“It simply means the destruction of the environment. We have lost revenue,” he declared.

 

Kyari also said that the reason for shutting down the refineries includes the challenge of not operating as a business, thereby causing them to incur losses.

 

He added that the management of the company was confident that it was restoring the company to about 90 percent efficiency.

 

He further noted that the repayment of the borrowed money was tied to the productivity of the refineries, boasting that NNPC would deliver on the rehabilitation exercise.

 

He also assured us that there would not be any importation of petroleum products by the middle of next year.

 

While lamenting the level of losses on the nation’s pipelines, he said that the nefarious business of pipeline vandals cuts across different regions and religious organisations where the pipelines pass through.

 

 

According to Kyari, The CEO said that the NNPC management is building the National Reserve Company.

 

Maintaining that the issue of crude oil theft is real and happening, he said the company was not helpless as its efforts were paying off.