Special Adviser to the Delta State Government on Niger Delta Affairs, Griftson Omatsuli, has described as “dangerous” the clamours for the Federal Government to withdraw the services of pipeline surveillance companies in the Niger Delta.

He stated this during a recent tour of the 87-kilometre Trans Forcados Pipeline contracted to an indigenous firm, Ocean Marine Solutions.

According to him, the effect of the vandalism of the pipelines has a terrible impact on the economy, ecosystem, health, infrastructure and the aquatic life of the communities, hence, withdrawing the services of surveillance firms will worsen vandalism and reduce government’s revenue from oil sales.

He said that vandals had committed many atrocities that should not be encouraged.

“Whoever that is nurturing that plan does not mean well for Nigerian oil companies producing in the Niger Delta region and government infrastructure. If they remove the contract, they would be creating an avenue for pipeline vandalism and reduction in the Federal Government‘s revenue from oil sales.

“For all over six years since OMS began operations, the level of criminality has gradually reduced because we felt that the people involved in the criminal acts have been employed and empowered by OMS to guard these pipelines. This is why the Federal Government has been meeting up with the OPEC quota,” Omatsuli said.

Supervisor Oil Mining License 40, Benin River Houses, Smart Amula, said the surveillance contract began in November 2018.

 “And so far so good, the pipeline infrastructure is working fine and we are working with NPDC. Since we began our operations, crude oil has been flowing very fine and we all are okay

He explained that the pipelines had so far been kept safe with the help of the communities, the Nigerian Navy and other regulatory agencies.

“We commend President Bola Tinubu and the Governor of Delta State and every other party that are assisting us in this struggle. We have been able to reduce crude oil theft by at least 95 per cent. So far so good, we don‘t have any challenge, because everywhere has been stabilised and the oil has been flowing very well,” he said.

The Ovie of Ughelli Kingdom, His Majesty Ajuwe Wilson Ojakovo, Oharisi 111, also commended the ongoing surveillance by NNPCL/OMS partnership and passionately appealed to the Federal Government to sustain the initiative and save the community from activities of vandals.

A presidential delegation that recently inspected key oil facilities in the Niger Delta region revealed that Nigeria currently loses $4m daily to crude theft, vandalism of assets, among others.

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