By Olawale Akanni
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on Tuesday said it couldn’t allow continued attacks on the Trans Forcados pipeline hence the security contract it awarded a private company, Ocean Marine Solutions (OMS).
The company, Ocean Marine Solutions is owned by Idahosa Okunbo, whom the chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomole referred to as his friend in a 2016 letter to Ize Iyamu.
A statement released by the corporation and signed by NNPC spokesman, Ndu Ughamadu said the contract is the result of a rigorous appraisal of OMS’s record of performance on the Bonny-Port Harcourt and Warri-Escravos crude evacuation lines.
It said Trans Forcados is an 87km pipeline with a capacity of 250,000 barrels.
According to the statement “in 2018, we lost over 60 days of production due to incessant breaches on the TFP despite having a security contract in place.
“In terms of production numbers, this translates to over 11 million barrels of crude oil which on face value equates to over $800m in lost revenue to all the stakeholders in the matrix which includes: NNPC, its Joint Venture partners and the Nigerian Federation.”
It said the contract would require that the company bear the cost of any damage to the pipeline, unlike the former contract where the company was exempted from repair costs.
NNPC said it lost 60 days of production under the new contract and spent $32 million on repairs and protection of the pipeline.
According to NNPC, OMS is obligated to engage youths from the community to execute the contract hence youths engaged under the old contract do not have to fear to lose their jobs.
The allegation of non-adherence to due process in the offer of the surveillance deal, NNPC explained that all federal government-approved procurement processes and procedures were followed to the later.
It was recalled that in 2015 a memo from President Jonathen had directed that ex-militants, led by Government Ekpemupolo (aka Tompolo), Mujaheedin Asari-Dokubo and Chief Bipobiri Ajube (aka Gen. Shoot-At-Sight) take over Nigerian waterways and oil pipeline protection from the police and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) as from March 16.