FG Justifies N5.6bn Oil Pipeline Security Contracts to Ex-Militant Leaders
The Federal Government on Sunday justified the oil contracts of about N5.6bn yearly awarded to former militants of the Niger Delta to protect oil pipelines, saying it is in the contract was in the interest of the nation.
Senior Special Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, in a telephone interview with journalist said Nigeria had benefited immensely from the exercise.
Okupe said He said that the volume of crude oil being produced in the country had increased tremendously since the exercise commenced.
“Since this exercise began, the crude oil production has jumped from 1.8mbpd to 2.6mbpd.“That is an increment of over $700m income per day to the government. So, when you compare what was paid to get this benefit, it pales into insignificance,” he stressed
The Presidential Spokeman said the issue of pipeline and their safety were matters of national security and should not be politicised.
Okupe said it was on record that oil majors were already engaged in community protection of pipelines and there was no better way to secure the pipelines than to employ members of the community within the community were built.
A Wall Street Journal report last week focused on the yearly payment of about N5.6bn to former Niger-Delta war-lords for guarding the oil pipelines in the restive region.
The report gave a break-down of the militants involved in the contracts as ‘General’ Government Tompolo Ekpumopolo,N3.6bn; Asari Dokubo, 1.44bn; ‘General’ Ateke Toms,N560m and ‘General’ Ebikabowei Boyloaf Victor Ben, N560m.
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