President Bola Tinubu

Pipeline Protection: 20,000 Youths May Lose Jobs, Niger Delta Traditional Rulers, Community Leaders Warn Tinubu

Pipeline infrastructure has brought peace, stable oil production, says traditional rulers

Over 20,000 young people in the Niger Delta may lose their means of legitimate livelihood if the Federal Government reverses the oil pipeline protection involving thousands of young people as local stakeholders, traditional rulers and youths in some oil producing communities counselled last week.

Traditional rulers and community leaders in the Niger Delta who spoke to journalists during the week across the Niger Delta said they were ready to work with President Bola Tinubu to realise his mission of transforming the economy backed with a stable atmosphere of oil production in the Niger Delta.
The communities wanted the Federal Government to take bold steps that would ensure oil theft, pipeline vandalisation and pollution would come to an end in the Niger Delta through active participation and support of local communities and professionals.

The week-long stakeholders’ meetings held in Warri, Ugheli and two other Niger Delta communities.

Speaking to journalists on Wednesday at his Ughelli Palace, His Royal Majesty Evang Wilson Ojakovo told journalists ‘We have never seen such a strategic intervention that has brought peace to the Niger Delta which is necessary to guarantee oil production and ensure sustainable development in our recent political and economic history.’

He said he was speaking on behalf of several communities in the region. According to him, Pipeline Infrastructure (Ocean Marine Solutions) has brought hope to the people of the Niger Delta. He said one of the most significant intervention of the group was its ability to drastically reduce oil pollution in the entire Niger Delta by working with the security agencies to discover and stop illegal oil refineries and other illicit activities that destroy the Niger-Delta ecosystem.

A group of Niger Delta Professionals who attended a stakeholders meeting with journalists on Tuesday said the Niger Delta was critical to a stable economy which President Tinubu needed in order to ensure uninterrupted oil production and the completion of the refineries.

Dr Ebiri Edema who spoke on their behalf told journalists that the Niger Delta stakeholders were impressed by the blueprint of the current government on economic transformation. He said it would be easier to achieve stated goals if oil production is stable. ‘

Edema said: ‘’We have the responsibility to guide the President on the right steps to take. We are not politicians. We are professionals. President Tinubu knows that oil is the mainstay of Nigerian economy. He also knows that he needs a stable environment to be able to produce oil. That is why he needs to understand the situation in the Niger Delta at the moment.’’

Speaking further he argued that no fewer than 20,000 youths were direct and secondary beneficiaries of the activities of Pipeline Infrastructure alone, adding that if these youths lost their jobs, it would throw the Niger-Delta into turmoil.

“The Pipeline Infrastructure is the best thing that has happened to the Federal Government and the people of the Niger Delta region. Since they came into the system, pipeline vandalisation has almost vanished, oil production has seen additional 100,000 barrels while working with security operatives, they have been able to stop many instances of plots to siphon oil illegally”, the group said.

The groups urged President Bola Tinubu to use his wisdom to ensure the retention of the credible stakeholders whose intervention had brought sanity into oil production in the Niger Delta.

The military high command on Thursday said Nigeria had denied oil thieves a whooping N4bn while 6.6million litres of stolen crude oil; 3.5million litres of AGO; 200,000 litres of DPK and over 65,000 litres of Premium Motor Spirits had been retrieved from oil thieves between June and August 2023.

A top military officer who did not wish to be named identified Pipeline Infrastructure Limited (Ocean Marine Solutions) as a major source of the success story of the combined armed forces in the Niger Delta.

Traditional rulers and youth leaders in the oil producing Niger-Delta who spoke to journalists independently across the oil rich region also identified Pipeline Infrastructure (Ocean Marine Solution) as one of the most efficient groups that had brought dignity to the oil region through professional intervention in stopping oil theft and pipeline vandalisation.

They said the future of onshore and offshore oil production depended on the Federal Government’s ability to retain the best of the pipeline contractors whose activities had led to increased oil production through drastic reduction of oil theft, pipeline vandalisation and creek terrorism.

The Nigerian central government had responded to oil shortfalls by engaging community stakeholders empowered to work with security operatives in removing all obstacles to greater oil output. The initiative has seen dramatic improvement in oil production and reasonable harmony in a region once associated with violence and creek terrorism.

Speaking on the situation in the Niger Delta, former chairman of Egbokodo Community Canaan Ajagbawa said President Tinubu will leave his name etched in gold if he retains the Pipeline Infrastructure, adding that more than 50,000 direct and indirect beneficiaries look up to the group for survival apart from the value added to a stable oil production in the Niger Delta.

‘’We appreciate the private efforts. Security is all about the people. We need to work with locals.

“They live here and this is their land. One of them, Pipeline Infrastructure has shown rare commitment, rare vision, professional expertise in assisting the Federal Government to stabilise oil production in the Niger-Delta. This group has shown tremendous capacity to ensure security in the oil producing areas. They have supported the efforts of the Federal Government in areas of intelligence gathering, surveillance and deep knowledge of oil matters, backed with an impressive command in protection of critical infrastructure and oil theft prevention for prosperity of the country’’ the senior officer said.

He added that the strength of the company was derived from its recruitment policy which he said was motivated by merit and effective training that met global standards.