Wednesday, 3 July 2013

EXPOSED! Jonathan Gives Asari, Tompolo Contracts Illegally

The process followed by the President Goodluck Jonathan-led federal government in the award of contracts for the protection of Nigeria’s oil pipelines to ex-militants in the Niger Delta, including Tompolo, Ateke Tom and others, has been faulted by experts who insist that the action contravenes global practice.
“The question to be asked is: what has changed since ex-militants were paid this money? Why are we not getting results? Is the money meant for jamboree.” 
The cost of the expired pipeline protection contract awarded to the ex-militants is put at N5.6 billion:
A breakdown shows that Asari Dokubo got $9 million, Boyloaf Victor Ben and Ateke Tom, each got $3.8 million, while Tompolo Ekpumopolo got the largest share of $22.9 million.
The experts argued that the process is questionable, just as the contract has failed to deliver the desired result. Crude and product theft remains on the rise with an estimated 6 million barrels stolen monthly.

Speaking exclusively to Leadership on Tuesday, an industry expert who is very familiar with the core issues explained that the pipelines, being strategic assets, ought to be conventionally outsourced by government to competent companies for protection, if indeed it feels it is not capable of protecting them.

According to him, the global practice is that the owner of the assets works out the safety and security needs assessment of the infrastructure using a consultant, and, where need be, contract a "competent" third party to protect the assets if it becomes obvious that it cannot protect it.

He added that the manner in which the contract is being handed over to ex-militants under the table, rather than over the table, sends the wrong signals to the international community about Nigeria’s commitment to the principles of extractive industry transparency.

On her part, Nigeria’s representative on the board of the global Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI), Faith Nwadishi, expressed the worry that despite the contract awarded to the ex-militants no visible result could be seen, in fact Nigeria's crude is being stolen in higher quantity now.

She regretted that about 6 million barrels of crude oil are lost monthly, stressing that if the country is spending this kind of money, it should get results; otherwise, it’s a wasted effort. Nwadishi, is also the country director of Publish What You Pay (PWYP) Nigeria.

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