Rivers Deputy Speaker, Rt. Hon. Dumle Maol (Gokana), Hon. John Dominic Iderema (Abua/Odual), and Hon. Sokari Goodboy Sokari, (Ahoada West), have called on the Federal Government to extend the surveillance contract of Pipeline Infrastructure Nigeria Ltd, PINL beyond the current three months.
They made the call while speaking to journalists on the performance of the contractors. The three law makers, whose constituencies are oil facility hosts, expressed joy with PINL for its high quality performance stating that the company has reduced oil theft through pipeline vandalism and illegal refining of petroleum products by over 90 per cent in its short period of engagement.
They attributed the success of the company to its far reaching community engagement strategy through which they touched base with all stakeholders of pipeline and other facilities hosts communities saying it gave everyone a sense of belonging and made them active participants in the fight against illegal oil bunkering.
Urging the Federal Government to extend the surveillance contract they maintained that the three months extension recently granted PINL was not long enough and warned that if the contract was not further renewed the oil thieves might return at the end of the extended three months.
In his statement, the Deputy Speaker of Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Dumle Maol acknowledged that the presence of PINL in his area has saved the people from the mult-dimensional challenges of oil thieves and illegal bunkering.
He said asking the company to come back would mean asking them to double their efforts and bring new innovations that would make them improve and do better than what they were doing.
“So I urge the federal government to quickly do the needful by extending the contract in a sustainable term, not 3 months, not 1 month but a long term award that will make them relax and think of what to do to sustain what they are already doing”, he maintained.
Proposing a minimum of 1 year contract, Hon. Iderema, noted that for Mr President to have extended it by 3 months meant he was satisfied with the activities of PINL in the Niger Delta.
He noted that illegal refining activities would start the very day PINL pulls out as 3 months period was too short, and chronicled the hazardous effects of soot to the society.
On his part, Hon. Sokari Goodboy said vandalism or oil bunkering affected their lands, disrupted the ecosystem and negatively impacted on agriculture which is the main occupation of his people.
“Before now we don’t know if there was any arrangement between the government and the private sector on how to safeguard these facilities, but lately, we have seen some changes and that move has drastically reduced illegal refining activities that we see around our area”, he stated.
Pipeline Infrastructure Nigeria Ltd (PINL), is one of the contractors employed by the Federal Government to implement its security surveillance policy of oil industry assets, especially pipelines, in the Niger Delta.
The contract which has just lasted nearly a year has PINL covering hundreds of communities in four states of Abia, Bayelsa, Imo and Rivers