An international environmentalist and rights campaigner, Alhaji Musa Saidu, has called on Tantita Security Services Nigeria Limited (TSSNL), operated by a former ex-militant leader, Chief Ekpemupolo Government aka Tompolo, to make public the names of oil thieves he claimed to have, saying it would strengthen the war against oil theft.
Saidu, who is coordinator and special envoy, Ecology, and Marine, Africa of the International Rights Commission (IHRC), said Tompolo’s alleged recent discoveries of secret pipelines operated by oil thieves were posing more questions than answers for the ex-militant leader, the Nigerian National Petroleum CompanyLimited (NNPCL) and some corporate stakeholders in the oil and gas sector.
He said the pipelines obviously were not built over night, stressing that they had been visible to all before they were tagged as discovered secret pipelines.
Saidu also spoke on the crisis between Kogi State House of Assembly and Dangote Cement Plc in Obajana, saying the federal, Kogi State governments and Dangote should seek peaceful resolution of the matter.
Describing Kogi State as a business-friendly state, Saidu said those trying to allegedly politicise the whole issue should stop, adding that steps should also be taken to address the allegations of health challenges arising from industrial pollution.
“Those who want to politicise it are hypocrites. The community has right under natural law. For the community to go to the assembly is a show that they are matured. The management of the firm should go and meet the state and the federal governments and settle it peacefully. Kogi State is very friendly to companies.
“The government should intervene for all to be settled peacefully. People should not politicise this. It is a simple thing that can be settled peacefully.”
Meanwhile, operatives of Tantita Security Services Nigeria Limited (TSSNL) and security officials have uncovered a key illegal underwater pipeline and platform connected to the 48–inch Trans-Forcados Export Trunk Line in Delta State from which bunkers, together with government and security accomplices, directly siphon cleaned crude oil into ships and export overseas.
The unearthing of the criminal pipeline and platform attached to the trunk line, operated by the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), is a major breakthrough in the renewed bid by the Federal Government, Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), Ministry of Defense, and other stakeholders to stop oil theft in the country.
Sources said professionals fabricated the illegal pipeline attached to a crude oil pipeline abandoned by the Nigerian Agip Oil Company Limited (NAOC), and bunkers generously pump cleaned crude oil into their own vessels from the nation’s Trans-Forcados pipeline at the rear of a military post in Ogulagha, BurutuLocal Government Area of Delta State.
SPDC operates the Forcados Terminal in Ogulagha which has a nameplate capacity to export 400,000 barrels per day.
It takes delivery of crude from the Forcados Oil Pipeline System and is the second largest pipeline network in the oil-producing region after the Bonny Pipeline System in the eastern Niger Delta.
Some IOCs and Nigerian independents operating in the western Niger Delta pump oil to the Forcados Oil Terminal through the pipeline for export.
The newest discovery is like the earlier illegal 4-km pipeline also attached to the same Trans–Forcados Export Trunk Line, earlier discovered by Tantita operatives.
However, the Oil Spill Victims Initiative (OSPVI) has threatened to sue NNPCL and SPDC over the illegal pipeline connections used to siphon the country’s crude oil.
Marine Intelligence Consultant to TSSNL, Captain Warren Enisuoh, who briefed journalists in Ogulagha on the discovery, yesterday, said: “What has happened was that the perpetrators of this organised crime attached pipeline into a Shell Petroleum Development Company 48-inch export line. The crude in this line has been cleaned up and is ready to go.
“So, they tapped into it, the place was initially filled with water, but, technologically, there were able to connect their own pipe underwater.
“We trotted the line on foot to the point it was tapped, we had to create something on either side of the pipeline so that the water could be pumped out.
“For days, we pumped the water out before the illegality was exposed. You see that riser behind me is operated by another joint venture company called AGIP, so, these fellows piped the crude through the abandoned oil field that belongs to AGIP, which they used to pipe crude oil to the Beniboye Flow Station.
“What happened is that instead of piping crude to Beniboye Flow Station, the oil bunkers export crude.
‘That particular jacket you see outside there is a very old one, they cut the Agip line, connected their own through the extreme riser out to that other jacket.
“Then, at night, the usual thing happens, which is that they bring ships to that particular platform, connect their modernized lines to the ships, which they bring in, and off they go from there.
“Well, they are not smarter than Nigeria, NNPCL, Tantita. We discovered this about a week ago, and we had to employ a whole lot of machinery to be able to bring you (reporters) in to see it. It is not a yesterday thing.
“We knew about the platform and started working on it when we had the support of NNPCL and the government. Nigeria has suffered enough; we have to stop these illegalities.
“The distance from the illegality to the point we are standing is about one kilometre and from here to the jacket is approximately four kilometres.
“Therefore, what they do… because the whole line is a six-inch pipe, each time they pump, they open their own valve and the crude stored on this line; then, they close if off so that when their ships are sucking, you would not feel the effect from the pressure on the other side.
“Therefore, it is a smart design, I do not know how long. With the intelligence we have been getting about ships coming to that particular area, which led to this find, it has been going on for a while, more a year perhaps.
“We share our intelligence with the Joint Task Force (JTF) in the Niger Delta and Operation Delta Safe.”
The General Manager of Joint Venture Operations, National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), Zakariya Budawara, also briefed reporters on the incident.
Budawara said, “NNPCL has been on its toes in trying to bring stability to the host community. And the host community has been helpful in trying to see that we secure all oil and gas facilities, especially the one we saw, which has to do with the crude evacuation line.
“Today, for me, is just any other day, but we feel that the media should come and see the efforts of the NNPCL, stakeholders, including the community, government security agencies, private and community contractors, especially the one in the western corridor, Tantita, are making. Tantita has been doing a great job, all these we are doing to assure Nigerians that we are working to curb crude oil theft.
“We know the direct impact on the revenue and on the people of the host communities and the environment.
“All you have seen is in demonstration of the collaborative efforts of everybody. Nobody can do it alone; it is the efforts of all the stakeholders. I am here on behalf of the Group Managing Director, NNPCL, Mele Kyari, and his lieutenants.”
Sources explained that some International Oil Companies (IOCs), oil bunkers, and security officials jointly steal crude oil through the major pipeline connected to the 48-inch Export Trunk Line through an abandoned pipeline belonging to NAOC.
We Get Petrol At N200 Per Litre From Depots, IPMAN Cries Out
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has decried the ‘unsustainable’ price that the private depot owners sell the premium motor spirit, otherwise known as petrol in the country.
Speaking, yesterday, on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, the Deputy National President of IPMAN, Zarama Mustapha, revealed that the private depots get petrol at the approved price of N148/litre from the sole importer of the commodity, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, however, sell it for as high as N195 to N210 to independent marketers, which is not sustainable.
“Though marketers get petrol at the approved price of N148/litre from NNPC depots, the company does not have enough storage facilities to cater to the needs of marketers, hence, the latter resorts to private depot owners. It is more of the issue of private depots collecting the products at the approved price and not selling to the independent marketers at a price approved by the mainstream, downstream regulatory authority.
“You cannot get a product at N195 to N200 and expect to sell it at N175,” he noted.
The IPMAN official said depot owners give excuses such as the cost of transporting the product from the mother vessel to their depots and escalation of the dollar as reasons for the price hike.
Mustapha lamented that most Lagos depots are in a chaotic situation and marketers spend three days to load refined petrol that they are not supposed to spend more than three hours to lift.
He urged the NNPC to engage depot owners to sell the product to marketers at the recommended price, saying the common man is at the receiving end.
For weeks, vehicle owners have had a tough time getting petrol from filling stations, especially in Lagos and Abuja.
Whilst many outlets are closed, the few open ones sell the indispensable commodity for as high as N250 per litre from the uniform price of N169/litre.
The supply shortage has led to long, gruelling snake-like queues at the few open filling stations as motorists and business owners jostle to buy fuel while others resort to the black market.
The situation has also worsened traffic on major roads as vehicle owners block at least one lane to join queues to filling stations.
Make Nigerian Youths Innovative, Buhari Tells Corporate Leaders
President Muhammadu Buhari has tasked leaders of corporate organisations to build the capacity of Nigerian youths to be innovative and embrace technology to make positive contributions to their organisations and the nation.
The president, represented by the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami, said this at the Institute of Directors (IoD) 2022 Annual Director’s Conference (ADC), yesterday, in Lagos.
The ADC had as its theme: “Corporate Governance and Digital Transformation: Leading Purposefully for Growth and Sustainability.”
Buhari, noting that the challenges associated with corporate governance were multifaceted, stressed the need for heads of organisations to harness technology to achieve effective governance.
He reiterated the commitment of his administration to providing the necessary legal support and framework to support the entrenchment of good corporate governance practices across various sectors of the economy.
Buhari also pledged his commitment to supporting the IoD by giving the institute’s chartered bill the necessary consideration to enable it to achieve its mandate.
Deputy Secretary General, United Nations, Ms Amina Mohammed, said the world was hit by a series of global crises which have affected the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
Mohammed said technology and digitalisation would set the era of digital transformation in areas of health, education, agriculture and finance.
Nigeria Does Not Belong To North, Arewa Youths Tell Northern Elders
The Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) has said that Nigeria does not belong to the North ahead of the 2023 general election.
Apparently reacting to the recent interview granted by a member of the Northern Elders Forum, Alh Sani Zango Daura, in which he called on the North to support a Northern candidate.
The AYCF, in a statement issued by its National President, Yerima Shettima, noted that supporting a southerner was clearly a demonstration of justice.
He noted that this was because Nigeria does not belong to the North alone, or Muslims and Christians of the North, insisting that “even on moral grounds, the most responsible political action by the North was the decision on powershift in 2023, because the Presidency cannot be hereditary and Nigeria is not a Banana Republic”.
Shettima further said, however, that the elder was expressing his personal opinion and not the stand of the North in general, saying that a “ little balancing was needed in position of our father Zangon Daura, more so when he admitted that the elders are mere escorts for the younger generation today”.
The AYCF noted that when 13 Northern governors led by Kaduna State Governor, Mal Nasirel-Rufai endorsed a Southern candidate for the 2023 presidency, they repeatedly cited political justice.
“Though we are not card-carrying members of the APC, we shared the view that the decision was in line with being fair to the South in 2023.
“We are aware, as well as our father ZangonDaura, that the North is respected for honouring its promises to the South and this one absolutely undeniable character of all Northerners.
“We are not known to break promises and that explains why our son, President MuhammaduBuhari never objected to the idea of a Southern presidential candidate in the ruling party. In the North, like our father ZangonDaura knows, promises are sacred and in fact a culture”.
It would be recalled that in a viral audio of AlhajiZangonDaura while addressing a group of youths, suggested that they should throw their weight behind a fellow Northerner for the presidency in 2023, citing historic and religious instances, something the AYCF said it believed was “overtaken by events, current realities, and the spirit of justice and fairness in the Nigerian project”.
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