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The Federal Government is set to execute its new plan to safeguard the waterways and oil pipelines.
The Presidency is believed to have directed the Police and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) to quit the job for some companies, which have been signed on by the government.
The companies are owned by some former Niger Delta militants and prominent citizens. They include Government Tompolo; Mujaheedin Asari-Dokubo and Chief Bipobiri Ajube (aka Gen. Shoot-At-Sight).
There is also founder of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) Dr. Frederick Fasehun who said last night that his company was being considered for the multi-billion naira contract.
The OPC National co-ordinator, Otunba Gani Adams, who is also said to be part of the deal, declined comments last night, saying he was at a meeting.
The takeover is said to be with effect from March 16.
According to a source, seven companies have been allocated “regions” or operational areas as follows: Egbe Security River One (Bayelsa); Gallery Security (Mosinmi -Ore); Close Body Protection (Edo State); Adex Energy Security(Rivers) ; Donyx Global Concept(Lagos and Ogun); Oil Facilities Surveillance-(Delta) and New Age Global Security (Mosinmi-Ibadan).
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) will coordinate the jobs.
Details of the deal are sketchy as only few in government are in the picture.
A source said: “The so-called new deal for the protection of waterways has not been made known to members of the Federal Executive Council, unlike in the past.
“Maybe this is an ad hoc arrangement to achieve a political purpose because some ex-Niger Delta militants on January 24 met at the Government House, Yenagoa and vowed to declare war if President Goodluck Jonathan does not win the March 28 election.
“Asari Dokubo specifically said: “We are going to war. Every one of you should go and fortify yourself.”
Responding to a question, the source added: “These former Niger Delta militants are benefiting from all manner of pipeline protection contracts.
“Apart from being on retainership with NIMASA, I am aware that in 2009, a former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Chief Ufot Ekaette presented a memo on December 2, 2009 to the Federal Executive Council for the award of the N1.8billion Kurutie Shoreline Protection and Reclamation contract.
“A company, KFT Kpudoh, allegedly owned by Tompolo and another called Phoenica Nigeria Limited, bid for the said contract.”
Based on the advice of the Bureau of Public Procurement, after a thorough technical audit, the Shoreline Protection and Reclamation Contract was awarded to Phoenica Nigeria Limited by FEC. But the award of the contract to Phoenica fetched Akaette death threats. The government later reviewed the contract.”
A source in Warri, Delta State, said the contract for pipelines in Delta State would be executed by Oil Field Surveillance Limited, the same company, which had previously handled it. It is owned by Tompolo.
“What I was told is that it has been awarded for Delta, Edo, Ondo, Bayelsa, Rivers, Lagos and Ogun states. Like the one of Lagos State, I learnt it’s being anchored by Dr Frederick Fasshun and that it’s going to commence on Monday,” the source said.
The NSCDC Deputy Commandant General in charge of Operation, Evans Ewuurum, said the corps was yet to receive any circular on the contracts.
Nigeria has been battling with huge revenue due to vandalism of oil and gas pipeline.
The Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Usman Jibrin, recently disclosed that Nigeria had been losing an estimated 100,000 barrels of crude oil valued at N1.18 billion daily to oil thieves.
This amounts to an annual loss of N433.62 billion.
The Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, said pipeline vandalism led to shortage of gas for firing power plants.
The electricity market, which has 5,500MW installed capacity now generates an average of 3,575.85MW following paucity of gas as vandals who always strike whenever the sector is about to hit 4,500MW”.