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Pipelines: Stopping Tompolo’s surveillance contract will cripple economy— Ijaw leader

Pipelines: Stopping Tompolo's surveillance contract will cripple economy--- Ijaw leader

Pipelines: Stopping Tompolo’s surveillance contract will cripple economy— Ijaw leader

A group, Concerned Ijaw Citizens, has urged President Bola Tinubu to dismiss calls to revoke the award of surveillance contract given to Tantita Ltd owned Mr Government Ekpemupolo (aka Tompolo).

The Coordinator of the group, Chief Manager Seigha, who made the call on Tuesday in Lagos, said that such step would again cripple nation’s economy

There have been some calls from some quarters including National Coalition of Civil Society Groups (NACCIG) asking the Federal government to revoke without delay the Pipeline Surveillance contract awarded to Tompolo.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd) had give the contract of pipeline security in Niger Delta to Tantita security outfit owned by Tompolo, leader of one of the militants groups in Niger Delta.

According to Seigha, those advocating revoke of such surveillance against oil theft are enemies of the nation, who might be seeking their personal gains at the expense of the nation’s economic stability.

He said that apart from the security provided by Tompolo’s boys which had restored hope to the nation by soaring up oil daily production, the outfit had also engaged a lot of youths in the area.

“When crude oil theft became so high and Nigerian crude oil production went down from about 1.9 million per day to about 900,000 per day, it was Tompolo that came out to offer help.

“At that time, many oil magnets were crying out that the bulk of oil that is being stolen was about 60 per cent of daily output, and that those of them in the business were losing seriously.

“The bulk of oil that was being stolen was alarming. At this time, the conventional security like the Navy and Police were in Niger Delta, but could not solve the problem.

“This transpired for almost more than four years before the Nigerian Government under President Muhammadu Buhari engaged Tompolo,” Seigha said.

According to him, Tompolo has the blueprint that reduced the menace of oil theft drastically and he has shown that hence there is no reason to revoke contract.

Seigha added: “He (Tompolo) understands the terrain and creeks and this has been working for the nation. Within one year, Federal Government recovered more than 700,000 barrel per day.

“Today, the country has recovered over million barrel per day that were being stolen at a time. It is unfortunate to hear people questioning why the Federal Government gave the contract to Tompolo.

“To me, in fact what the government is paying Tompolo for the huge work that is critical to our economy is a peanut, considering also more than 25,000 people working under him for 24 hours daily.

“We need to safeguard oil installations and protect crude oil from being stolen,” he said.

According to him, no security personnel can access some of the places where Nigerian oil has been stolen.

“Tompolo’s boys can go to places Police, Navy and Army cannot go. Navy patrols the creeks from 7.00 a.m. to 7.00 p.m. What happens in the midnight?

“It is these young people employed by Tompolo who are working 24 hours making it impossible for oil theft to take place,” he said.

Seigha said that Tompolo’s operations had helped the country to stabilise in meeting the OPEC’s quota of oil production from Nigeria.

He added: “We, as elder, are not talking because of any gain as we don’t get a dime from the contractor, but we are talking because the Nation is dear to us and our environment is better now unlike before.

“If we measure what Tompolo is doing to the economy, what the government is paying him is peanut.

“The government is paying him less than one per cent of what he is doing to the system.

“We should not bring the nation back to era of oil theft. In fact, we feel it is not too much to give Tompolo 10 per cent of what he is bringing to the system to end oil thefts.

“So, it is not a job soldiers or police can do. Some people don’t understand. Nigeria will lose it the contract is revoked as being advocated by by some ignorant people.

“There is nobody in the Niger Delta that has that capacity that Tompolo has. People complaining just want to stab the economy to make money.”

Recall that the Nigerian Government in 2022 described its award of multi-billion naira pipeline surveillance contract to a former leader of the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta, Government Ekpemupolo, popularly known as Tompolo, as the ‘right decision’.















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