Posted by News Express | 8 June 2015 | 3,565 times
The Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC), a coalition of over 150 anti-corruption organisations, has written to President Muhammadu Buhari, requesting the revocation of the waterways security contract awarded to a company linked to former warlord, Chief Government Ekpemupolo alias Tompolo.
The demand was contained in a letter dated 4th June, 2015 and signed by CSNAC Chairman Olanrewaju Suraju.
It was entitled ‘Demand for the immediate revocation of the oil pipeline security contract awarded to Mr Government Ekpemupolo a.k.a Tompolo’.
The letter reads in part: “Sometime in 2012, the President Goodluck Jonathan administration signed a One Hundred and Three Million Dollars ($103 million) contract with Global West Vessel Specialist Agency Ltd, a company linked to the ex-militant leader of the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND), Mr. Government Ekpemupolo alias Tompolo, to protect the nation’s maritime areas and stop piracy and oil theft.
“However, constitutionally, the Nigerian Navy is the primary government agency saddled with the responsibility of safeguarding the territorial integrity and securing the borders of the Federation on the sea.
“It is rather unfortunate that despite the huge amount of money wrongly expended on the said contract yearly, the water ways are still largely insecure and thousands of barrels of crude oil are still lost daily in oil theft and pipeline vandalisation. As a matter of fact, crude oil theft increased from 250,000 barrels/day before the contract to 400,000 barrels/day since the ceding of Nigeria's territorial water to a private company without any record of experience in similar service.
“In the LEADERSHIP Newspaper publication of 3rd June, 2015, the pioneer chairman of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Ahmed Tijani Ramalan was reported to have said that the agency pays N1.5bn monthly to Mr. Government for the said contract.
“He further stated as follows, “Over 400,000 barrels of crude oil are being stolen daily from our shores under President Jonathan; yet we had a government that has the Navy, the Army and the Air Force, and the government of Jonathan decides to hand over the security of our maritime waters to Tompolo at a very exorbitant amount of money”. He also opined that one of the ways to revamp the country’s economy is by revoking the contract awarded to Tompolo.
“In the aforementioned publication, it was reported that some ex Niger-Delta militants have also called on President Muhammadu Buhari to review the multi-million dollar oil pipeline security contract awarded to ex-militant leader, Government Ekpemukpolo, alias Tompolo and other ex-militants by the past administration coming under the aegis of The National Coalition of Niger-Delta Ex-agitators led by its National President, Israel Akpodoro.
“From the foregoing, it is settled that the Nigerian Navy in conjunction with other law enforcement agencies were established to maintain security of the Federation and her waters. It is however 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.
“CSNAC is therefore by this petition demanding the immediate revocation of the said contract and the transfer of the said assignment to the Nigerian Navy and other relevant law enforcement agencies. 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 be lost can be utilised for the benefit of the Nigerian people.
“We thank you in anticipation of your urgent consideration and prompt action on this issue.”
•Photo shows Tompolo.
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