112 crude oil theft: Group asks NNPCL to terminate contract linked to Olu of Warri

…for failing to protect facility
. Accuses Pipelines Infrastructures Limited of inability to deliver

A pan Nigeria group, National Awareness Forum (NAF) has asked the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) to speedily terminate the oil pipelines surveillance contracts awarded to the Pipelines Infrastructures Nigeria Limited (PINL).

The PINL believed to be operated by the Itsekiri monarch, the Olu of Warri, Ogiame Atuwatse 111, was awarded the contract for the surveillance of the oil pipelines in some parts of the Niger Delta and South-East zones .

The PINL was mandated by the NPPCL to watch over oil pipelines and installations in some parts of Rivers and Imo State.

The NAF, in a statement issued in Abuja on Monday, said its position was in response to the alarm raised by the management of NNPCL that 112 cases of crude oil theft were recorded between December 23rd and 29th, 2023 alone .

The group accused the management and officials of PINL of conniving with oil thieves to sabotage the nation’s economy, adding “the private security outfit in collaboration with criminals was behind the crude oil theft”.

The NAF statement signed by its President, Alhaji Abdul-Azeez Abdullahi and Publicity Secretary, Mr. Ikechukwu Ngozi, lamented that the scenes of the 112 illicit oil deals were under the jurisdiction of PINL.

Arguing that PINL has failed to deliver in view of the latest development, the body requested the Presidency to prevail on the board and management of NNPCL to revoke the the contract for breach of agreement.

NAF stressed that the outcome of its preliminary findings in the wake of the alarm raised by NNPCL in the aftermath of the 112 cases of oil theft revealed that the unsavoury actions took place majorly in the areas under the contractual agreement with PINL in Rivers and Imo states.

In reviewing the PINL’s handling of the surveillance pipelines contract, the body noted that the Trans- Forcados pipelines in Delta state, suffered the same fate of incessant attacks by oil thieves when it was under the protection of the private security company.

The NAF stated that the Trans-Forcados pipelines began to experience peace when it was taken away from PINL and given to another private security company to manage.

The NAF said PINL was not dutifully and painstakingly executing the contracts, adding that while other private security outfits hired men to keep the vigil over the pipelines, the PINL abandoned its responsibility as enshrined in the contracts, for pecuniary gains.

Stating that the management of PINL was just pocketing billions of naira annually “for doing nothing”, the group said there was no wisdom in retaining the PINL for the job.

According to the group, “There is no wisdom in NNPCL retaining the Pipelienes Infrastructures Nigeria Limited for surveillance contracts again because the private security provider has failed the country. The large chunk of the recent 112 cases of oil theft reported by NNPCL in the Niger Delta and South-East took place in the areas under the surveillance of PINL.

“That was how the Trans-Forcados pipelines in Delta state was being constantly and regularly vandalised with crude oil steadily stolen from it when it was under the guidance of the Pipelienes Infrastructures Nigeria. Limited.
The Trans-Forcados has since been at peace after it was taken away from PINL and given to another private security company to manage.”

“We call on the Presidency to do the needful because those collaborating with the illicit oil barons to steal the nation’s oil wealth cannot still be patronised to watch over the same installations and facilties they are sabotaging,” the group added.

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