- NNPC has reportedly signed a deal with ex-militant leader, Tompolo to end illegal bunkering in the Niger Delta
- Tompolo and his boys are also expected to stop illegal refining and other forms of oil theft in the Niger Delta
- The former Niger Delta warlord is set to make a N4 billion monthly from the contract initiated by the government
FCT, Abuja - The federal government has renewed a multi-million dollar pipeline surveillance contract to a former militant leader and commander of the defunct Movement for Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND), Government Ekpemupolo, aka Tompolo.
According to The Nation newspaper, the government and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Limited signed the deal with Tompolo to end illegal bunkering, illegal refining and other forms of oil theft in the Niger Delta.
A source close to Tompolo, quoted in the report, said the deal was worth over N4billion monthly.
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“They have realised the need to bring him back because currently, the country is losing over 500,000 barrels per day to illegal bunkering.”
The source said the new deal was brokered by the minister of state for petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva and some NNPC top officials, including the Group Executive Director, Upstream, Adokiye Tombomelye.
He said NNPC as a new profit-making venture was determined to curb all illegal activities affecting its operations and making it run at a loss every month.
Nigerians react to Tompolo's new contract
Some Nigerians have been reacting to the new contract given to Tompolo by the Nigerian government.
Victor Udoh wrote on Twitter:
“They are giving Tompolo contract so he will endorse them like Asari and Kabaka have done to secure south-south votes.”
Francis King wrote:
“A country where notorious and wanted criminals benefits more from the government than the peaceful and law abiding citizens. Such a shame.”
Mavis Ikpeme wrote:
“From a wanted notorious criminal to a patriot! They say if you set the thief a guard, the goods stay intact. But 4 Billion a month not to much of a price for an alleged bunkerer Tompolo? Buhari’s government paying militants not to loot oil.”
Nigerian govt chasing shadows on crude oil theft, says Siasia
Recall that a Niger Delta youth leader, Moses Siasia, recently said the federal government is chasing shadows in its quest to tackle the scourge of crude oil theft in the region.
Siasia lamented that governors in the region have neglected governance and are instead focusing on building public infrastructure, which may not necessarily impact the lives of the teeming youths of the Niger Delta.
This, he said, may make it difficult for oil theft to end in the region.
Young Niger Delta leaders lament over culture of mediocrity in oil-rich region
Earlier, young leaders in the oil-rich Niger Delta recently pushed for strategic regional engagement and affirmative leadership as a panacea for development in the region.
According to them, the initiative is a means to make up for the huge capital being invested in the region.
The leaders also advocated that the region set aside its culture of mediocrity and faulty leadership process at all levels of government.