Rivers State Governor, Siminalayi Fubara, has expressed criticism towards the Federal Government’s decision to award a pipeline protection contract to a single entity. While not naming names, Fubara raised concerns during a meeting with a Federal Government delegation led by the National Security Adviser (NSA), Nuhu Ribadu, at the Government House in Port Harcourt.
The contract for safeguarding crude oil pipelines, which had previously been awarded to Tantita Security Services, a company led by former militant leader Government Ekpemepulo, also known as Tompolo, drew attention from Fubara. The Governor argued that allowing one individual to control assets situated within another’s territory would likely prove ineffective.
Governor Fubara lamented the perceived neglect of the state by the Federal Government and called for an approach that would benefit both federal and state authorities. He urged the delegation to engage with local communities to gain a better understanding of the situation in the Niger Delta region.
Highlighting his concerns, Fubara stated, “Security of pipeline should not be given to one man or one person. How can someone from Kalabari be controlling the pipeline in Ogoni? There is no way it will work.”
Fubara emphasized the importance of involving key figures from various communities and providing support to officials in charge of petroleum-related ministries, specifically mentioning two sons from Bayelsa and Akwa Ibom who head the Ministry of Petroleum. He urged the delegation to gather accurate information by engaging with knowledgeable individuals on the ground.
Governor Fubara highlighted the efforts undertaken by Rivers State to combat illegal crude oil refining and affirmed his commitment to maintaining those standards. He also expressed his belief that the Niger Delta region’s contributions to the national economy are not being adequately rewarded.
The NSA, Nuhu Ribadu, explained that the delegation had a mandate from President Bola Tinubu to address issues of crude oil theft and illegal refining of petroleum products. The delegation included high-ranking officials such as the Chief of Defense Staff, General Christopher Gwabin Musa, and the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Taoreed Lagbaja, along with various ministers responsible for defense and petroleum resources