Apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide has urged the federal government to handle the issue of pipeline surveillance contracts in the Niger Delta with caution.
This was contained in a statement made available to journalists by the national president of Ohanaeze Youths, Mazi Okwu Nnabuike.
There have been mixed reactions over the planned renewal of the contract awarded to High Chief, Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, and his Tantita Security Services Nigeria Limited, TSSNL.
While adding his voice to the debate, Okwu said securing the oil facilities across the oil producing states was very sensitive to the country’s economy.
He urged the federal government not to be swayed by some malicious sentiments against Tantita in making a decision on the matter, noting that the Tompolo-owned TSSNL had done very well in ensuring sanity in the oil rich region.
“There is consensus that TSSNL has done well in securing oil facilities in the Niger Delta region. We can also attest to the fact that facilities in the two major oil producing states in the South-East, Imo and Abia, have remained secured.
“They have done wonderfully well in Imo and Abia States by reducing oil theft drastically.
“Their perfect surveillance has also helped to improve the health conditions of communities because of health hazards orchestrated by oil bunkerings and their illegal local refineries.
“They have shown capacity and knowledge in securing the nation’s oil pipelines, as even attested to by the NNPCL and other stakeholders.
“Alongside other PSCs, the TSSNL is doing a great job and should be encouraged by the federal government; we are not unaware of the blackmail by certain persons who feel threatened by the activities of the PSCs.
“These are the people who have been sabotaging the nation’s economic interests, but because they are being exposed by TSSNL and the others, they are doing everything to scuttle the renewal of the contracts.
“We are urging the federal government not to be swayed by sentiments and baseless blackmail but to first consider the overall interest of the country,” Okwu stated.