Group Protesting Against Surveillance Contract

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation NNPC has finally spoken out in support of the award of the 87 kilometres Trans Forcadoes Pipeline Protection contract to Ocean Marine Solutions Ltd OMS.

The Corporation spokesperson and General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division Mr Ndu Ughamadu on behalf of the Group Managing Director Dr Maikanti Baru laid down the facts of the matter and the advantages of the new contract over the old replace one.

According to Ughamadu “The decision to assign the TFP surveillance package to Ocean Marine Solutions was reached after consideration of huge losses on TFP and rigorous appraisal of the company’s impressive record of performance on the Bonny-Port Harcourt and Warri-Escravos crude evacuation lines.”

Pipelines Across the Niger Delta

The reason for the decision according to the corporation is based on the laudable benefits and advantages which it gives to all the stakeholders who are joint owners of the pipeline infrastructure. One of such named benefit is the payment by the contractor for every inch of the damaged pipeline without transferring the cost of repairs to the corporation.

This new factor is bound to save the stakeholders great cost and revenue that is usually lost whenever there is an infraction on the pipelines “In 2018, we lost over 60 days of production due to incessant breaches on the TFP despite having a security contract in place, lamented Ughamadu.

“In terms of production numbers, this translates to over 11 million barrels of crude oil which on face value equates to over 800million dollars in lost revenue to all the stakeholders in the matrix which includes: NNPC, its Joint Venture partners and the Nigerian Federation.’’

Ruptured Pipelines in the Niger Delta

According to him, “no responsible business entity or government will allow this level of haemorrhage to subsist without acting swiftly to protect the enterprise from further bleeding.”

It was this unpleasant experience that compels the corporation to assign Ocean Marine Solutions the TFP contract under the proof of concept arrangement which has proven to be very effective in the Bonny-Port Harcourt and Escravos-Warri crude evacuation lines.

“This arrangement is totally different from the old order where the contractor gets paid for surveillance duties and totally exempted from repair cost or any form of responsibility in the event of any line break or breach to the pipeline he is paid to watch.” He explained.

Dr Maikanti Baru

Explaining further that the new contract is more cost effective than the previous ones Ughamadu said “In 2018, after we lost over 60 days of production, under the old contract, the NNPC and its stakeholders spent over 32million dollars on repairs, protection of the TFP and clean-up.

“This is a verifiable fact which makes the new deal not only better but far more rewarding to all stakeholders.’’ He debunks the notion that the youths of the host communities would lose out because Ocean Marine has stepped in but rather the youths would benefit more and get more jobs and assistance because of the un disruption of the existing contract with minimal breaches, unlike the past.

More so, the youths must be engaged by the contracting firm as stipulated in the TFP right of way. “It noted that long before now, the corporation had evolved a host community participation model which naturally incorporates youths within the vicinity of its assets and areas of operations as veritable stakeholders cum participants in the running of such facility.

Protest Galore in Delta State

“We want to state for the umpteenth time that based on our community engagement model for asset protection, OMS is obligated to engage youths in the TFP right-of-way in executing its mandate thus reports of imminent loss of jobs by host community youths are totally incorrect and mischievous.” “

It would be recalled that Niger Delta youths who are the host communities and beneficiaries under the former contract have been staging several protests against the new contracting firm Ocean Marine Solutions and NNPC accusing the later of diverting their contract in favour of the former for a selfish and corrupt reason. It is hoped that the NNPC explanation and assurances will go a long way to calm their fray nerves.

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