Reps Orders Suspension Of AGIP Pipeline Surveillance Contracts
The House of Representatives yesterday ordered immediate suspension of all Pipeline Surveillance Contracts by the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) in Bayelsa State. The House also resolved to set-up a committee to investigate the award of the contracts, so as to ascertain the beneficiaries of the contract awards and their impact on the oil producing communities and the country. The committee is expected to determine the effect of the contracts on the net national revenue derivable from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)/Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) joint venture operations and report to the House within three weeks for further legislative actions. The Bayelsa State caucus in the House had jointly sponsored a motion, seeking to “investigate the award and payment of Pipeline Surveillance contracts.” Member representing Sagbama/Ekeremor federal constituency, Hon. Frederick Agbedi in a motion jointly sponsored with four other lawmakers from the state, noted that Bayelsa State plays host to NAOC as it has its personnel, pipelines and other oil installations spread across various communities in the state. According to the motion, as a result of pipeline vandalism in the Niger Delta region and upon the subsequent implementation of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, it was agreed that pipeline surveillance contracts be awarded to the host communities to foster development of the communities and empower the people. The lawmakers however expressed concern that rather than award the pipeline surveillance contracts to the host communities, the company awarded the contracts to some favoured allies and that has resulted in several conflicts in the respective communities. According to the motion, the youths feel marginalised and have, on several occasions, expressed their grievances through violent protests sometimes clashing with security operatives attached to the contractors resulting in loss of lives and property.