Home Oil and Gas Rivers HOSTCOMS accuse pipeline surveillance contractor of complacency as oil theft rises higher 

Rivers HOSTCOMS accuse pipeline surveillance contractor of complacency as oil theft rises higher 

by Business News Report

Some communities hosting Oil Mining Lease, OML 11, in Rivers and Abia states have decried upsurge in illegal oil bunkering activities in their area, accusing a pipeline surveillance firm, Martinsevid Nigeria Limited, of complacency in the activities. The communities, Isietitioha, Umuorie town, Isimiri autonomous community, Owaza clan in Asa, Ukwa West Local Government Area of Abia State and Umuedeokwara community, Odagwe in Etche Local Government Area of Rivers State, however, urged the Federal Government and the Pipeline Infrastructure Nigeria Limited to immediately investigate the development. Speaking on the issue the King of Isietitioha Owaza in Ukwa West Local Government Area of Abia State, His Royal Highness, Eze Christian Ikemefula, decried the spread of illegal oil bunkering in his area, noting that the development indicated incompetence on the part of the surveillance company. Ikemefula noted that due to the increase in oil bunkering in his domain, the environment had been heavily polluted, adding that a majority of his subjects are now falling sick due to hazardous environment.

Ikemefula said, “We used to have Fricklin first, they were the people that were guarding the pipeline before and we didn’t have any problems until one Martinsevid came, so immediately they came, they multiplied bunkering in all our communities and neighbouring Etche. We can no longer stay in our houses again because of the much bunkering, smoke and soot covers everywhere, even our roofs are getting destroyed because of the soot falling on top. Even the water we take is polluted, everyone is now sick and this is because they gave the pipeline to bunkerers to guard. Martinsevid is not capable of working here, since they came, everyday there is breaking of pipelines everywhere, so they are not capable of doing the job.” Also speaking for Isimiri autonomous community, Pastor Godson Enwerenzor, who represented the President General of Umuorie Town Union, Isimiri Oil field, stated that if the development is not cushioned the community would lose what is due them as stipulated by the Petroleum Industry act.

“We are all aware that the Petroleum Industry act in vogue spells it out very expressly that any community found wanting stands to lose what comes to them from the PIA and since the introduction of the new company bunkering has been on the increase. We have written severely, reporting that this new company is not worth having or doing the job, the company is not capable, if we continue like this our community would lose what is due us. We are saying, we have suffered enough, the time to enjoy Federal Government via the PIA is now, let us stop this rubbish so that what will accrue to the community can be enough to help the community grow and develop.” The Community Trust Chairman of Umuedeokwara community in Odagwe, Etche Local Government Area of Rivers State, said he has facts that shows oil theft has increased in his area following the inactions of the surveillance contractor in diligently monitoring oil lines.

He said: “Ever since the pipeline surveillance job was assigned to another contractor, the new contractor has never visited the communities for familiarisation visit. In my community for instance, I’m not happy with the activities of bunkering, the thing has gotten to 99 percent, they carry out the bunkering day and night and nobody is checking them, instead they go about collecting money from the bunkerers. In a quick response, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Martinsevid Nigeria Limited, Martins Noah, denied the allegations, noting that those blackmailing his company were being bankrolled by competitors to spread falsehood. Noah said “The people doing this are paid by the former contractors and other people who are looking for the same job. They are the people sponsoring all these things. There is nothing like that, you can also verify from the community. They are pure false. This is borne out of greed and envy. Please, disregard whatever they say.”

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