The Federal Government has justified decision to award pipeline contract to a former militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo aka Tompolo.
FG stated that even though it didn’t award the contract directly to Tompolo, the militant leader has a stake in the company that got the contract.
According to Punch, FG on Tuesday, said it believes it took the right decision to hire private contractors to man its oil pipeline network nationwide.
The Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria National Petroleum Company, Mr Mele Kyari, disclosed this to journalists when he appeared at the 49th Session of the State House Briefing organised by the Presidential Communications Team at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Kyari argued that although the security agencies are doing their part, end-to-end pipeline surveillance would require the involvement of private entities and community stakeholders.
He said, “We need private contractors to man the right of way to these pipelines. So we put up a framework for contractors to come and bid and they were selected through a tender process. And we believe we made the right decision.”
According to earlier reports, one of those selected is a former Nigerian militant commander of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, Government Ekpemupolo, predominantly referred to as Tompolo.
Fielding further questions on the contract, Kyari explained that although the FG is not dealing directly with the former Warlord, it has signed a contract with a company in which Tompolo has interests.