Nigeria suspends pipeline monitoring contract over oil theft
London, August 29, 2018 (AltAfrica)-The Federal Government has suspended the contract it awarded to Topline Security, a private firm, for the protection of petroleum pipelines belongings to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The contract which saw Topline Security monitoring the length of the pipeline from Atlas Cove in Lagos to Mosimi in Ogun was said to have been terminated over allegations of petroleum theft against staff of the company by the Nigerian Navy (NN).
The government on Monday blamed the drop in the country’s Gross Domestic Product from 1.95 percent in first quarter to 1.50 percent in the second quarter on the fall in crude oil production.
On Tuesday, the outgoing Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) Western Naval Command (WNC) Rear Admiral Sylvanus Abbah confirmed the suspension to reporters shortly after handing over to his successor Rear Admiral Obed Ngalabak.
Admiral Abbah said that the Federal Government has directed the Nigerian Navy as well as officials of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corp (NSCDC) to take over patrol of the pipeline.
Abbah said: “The dislodging of the company contracted by Topline Security and characterised by hoodlums from Atlas Cove was one of the achievements recorded. Over 90 percent of their staff were foreigners and you were witnesses to what transpired at Ilashe in June.
“So, when the information got to the highest level of government, the contract awarded Topline Security was suspended and the Navy, NSCDC were mandated to protect those infrastructures. Since then, NNPC will tell you they have not recorded any colossal loss.”
Abbah also disclosed that the command arrested 26 vessels and many suspects during his tenure as FOC which commanded July 4.’’
He noted that successful reception of a multi-billion dollar oil rig, Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FSPO) EGINA despite threats from militants, adding that the vessel stayed in Lagos area for seven months before departing for the Niger Delta on August 26.
On the Apapa gridlock, Abbah lamented that officials of the Federal Ministry of Works were not on site despite the assurances they gave, urging motorists to continue to corporate with security agencies for orderliness.
“During my tenure, the command carefully analysed the prevailing contemporary security situation in the country and came up with robust policing duties, sustained internal security operations, guidelines for prudent use of resources as well as improved welfare programmes.”
In his remark, Ngalabak said he would leverage on the successes of his predecessor, adding that the navy would continue to chase criminals off the maritime space.