The House of Representatives yesterday mandated its Committees on Petroleum Resources (Downstream and Upstream) to investigate an alleged fraudulent award of pipeline surveillance contracts in the country.
This followed a motion raised by Deputy Majority Leader, Leo Ogor ( PDP, Delta State), on the need to investigate OML, a pipeline surveillance contractor.
Ogor, while giving the synopsis of the motion, stated that “Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC, a federal government agency, which ensured the protection of oil pipeline, awarded contract of OML 26/30 to Tezino Nig. Ltd for the surveillance and protection of oil pipelines in OML 26/30 situated in Isoko ethnic nationalities that run into millions of Naira.
He regretted that the said oil pipeline surveillance contract, awarded in the case of OML 26/30, had become a conduit pipe through which millions of Naira of tax payers’ money was being siphoned for work not done.
The lawmaker expressed concerns “that the beneficiary company may have acted in connivance with officials of the NPDC to perpetrate this heinous act against the state.”
He also expressed worry “that leaders of the host communities of the OML 26/30 pipelines are disenchanted with officials of NPDC over the shady contract that has left them with no option than to involve local vigilantes to keep surveillance over the pipelines.”
Ogor had hardly finished when Friday Itulah (Edo State) in a motion sought amendment to the earlier motion asking that the investigation be extended, to all other pipelines surveillance contracts in the country.
He reasoned that “we are not getting value for our money.”The committees were given one month to turn in its report on the investigation.
Similarly, the House in a unanimous vote, asked the Director-General of Bureau for Public Enterprise, BPE, and National Council on Privatisation, NCP, to appear before its Committees on Privatisation and Legislative Compliance to explain why the Enterprise went ahead to sell the moribund Nigerian Telecommunications Ltd, NITEL, and Mobile Telecommunications Ltd, MTEL, despite earlier resolutions to put the exercise on hold.
This was consequent upon a motion moved on the issue under matters of Urgent Public Importance by Ibrahim Gusau (Zamfara) who is also the Chairman of the House Committee on ICT.
In his prayers earlier, Gusau stressed that it was unfortunate that “despite the House resolution on the matter, NCP, and BPE still went ahead to liquidate NITEL. The House should invite DG of BPE and NCP to appear and explain why they refused to comply with the House resolution.”
Supporting the motion, Bimbo Daramola (Ekiti) who spoke in anger against the non- compliance of the DG said “for once let us test the capacity of this House. How can we make a resolution and it is violated? I believe that why the 360 persons here were elected for 4 years is to change the country.”
The House however did not give a date for their appearance. [Vanguard]