President Muhammadu Buhari has a controversial multi-billion naira pipeline protection and waterways security contract to think about, as a heritage from the Goodluck Jonathan administration.
The mentioned agreement was sealed between the Federal Government and a company linked to Government Ekpemupolo, aka Tompolo, a former Niger Delta warlord.
Olanrewaju Suraju, a chairman of the Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC), thinks there would be no justification for the new administration to continue the contract. According to him, more crude oil has been lost to pirates, oil thieves and “the water ways are still largely insecure and thousands of barrels of crude oil are still lost daily in oil theft and pipeline vandalisation.”
The data by the CSNAC shows crude oil theft increased from 250,000 barrels per day before the contract to 400,000 barrels per day after signing the contract.
Experts also remind Buhari that the duty to protect the country’s maritime areas and stop piracy and oil theft is the primary function of the country’s Navy and relevant law enforcement agencies, as per the constitution.
The recent statement by the CSNAC, dated June 7, 2015, reads in part:
It is “improper delegation of duty to assign such an enormous task to a private company instead of equipping the relevant agencies to enable them carry out their constitutional role effectively.
“Also, the Nigerian Navy and other law enforcement agencies should be equipped with the necessary equipments and resources required to enable them appropriately safeguard our waterways, in order to curb crude oil theft and pipeline vandalisation.
“That way, our economy would experience tremendous revamp as the profit that will be made from the sale of crude oil which hitherto would have been lost can be utilised for the benefit of the Nigerian people.”
Ahmed Ramalan, a chairman of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, also called for the contract to be revoked as a means of revamping the economy.
Other ex-militants under the aegis of the National Coalition of Niger-Delta Ex-agitators have also called for the contract to be reviewed.
Global West Vessel Specialist Agency Ltd, a company linked to Tompolo, secured the $103 million contract in 2012, during the Goodluck Jonathan administration.
Tompolo was one of the Niger Delta militants who accepted the Federal Government’s amnesty programme in 2010.