Stakeholders from the six states of the Niger Delta region have thrown their weight behind Gov Douye Diri’s call to include people from the region in pipeline surveillance contracts
The regional group welcomed the call for a review and decentralisation of the crude oil and gas facilities surveillance contracts awarded by the federal government across states in the Niger Delta.
The group is made up of traditional rulers, community leaders, women and Youth leaders under the aegis of the Movement for Sustainable Development of the Niger Delta (MSDND).
They said the Bayelsa government and other state governors from the region want pipeline surveillance contracts also awarded to their people to avoid ineptitude and enthrone collective protection of the nation’s assets and resources in the areas.
The National Coordinator of the MSDND, Chief Ayebatekena Olodi, made the position known in a statement issued on Friday in Yenagoa.
The group noted that there are attempts by greedy surveillance contractors to hijack the contract.
According to the coalition, the position of the Bayelsa government is the call for a review and decentralisation of the crude oil and gas assets surveillance contracts to include non-state actors across the region.
According to the MSDND: “The current arrangement could pose greater security challenges if not properly regulated. Recall that we have never been against the renewal of the contract. We insisted that the Federal Government should decentralise the award of all pipeline surveillance and maintenance contracts across the different states in the region to reputable ex-militant leaders, who worked with the President and supported his plans for our nation from the onset during the primaries.
“We have said, through a series of letters to the President and through news publications, that there are capable leaders across the various states in the Niger Delta region that probably would have done a better job and produced better results in securing our nation’s crude oil and gas assets.
“We have also shown proof through key data about Nigeria’s crude oil exports from OPEC and other sources, which clearly revealed that Nigeria was producing and exporting more crude oil before the over $1.3 billion pipeline surveillance contracts were awarded to these selected individuals, and during the one-year contract period of their contract, our production and sales of crude oil decreased.
“The position of the state governments and the earlier positions by various groups and key stakeholders across the region are in unison. The Bayelsa government’s position simply stated that the needed review of the current pipeline surveillance arrangements should include stakeholders from across the region in order to create room for more inclusiveness,” the coalition stated.