As Nigeria strives to meet its oil production quota within the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), traditional rulers and youth leaders in the oil-rich Niger Delta region have come together to voice their support for the retention of the Pipeline Infrastructure Group, also known as Ocean Marine Solutions.
They assert that this group has played a pivotal role in curbing oil theft and pipeline vandalism while promoting professionalism in the region’s oil industry.
President Bola Tinubu, a key figure in Nigerian politics, has received calls from various quarters to ensure that the country achieves its oil production goals in line with OPEC requirements. Currently, Nigeria faces challenges in meeting its daily quota of 2 million barrels, primarily attributed to the rampant issues of oil theft and pipeline vandalism.
It has been asserted that the future of both onshore and offshore oil production hinges on the Federal Government’s capacity to retain top-notch pipeline contractors. These contractors have played a pivotal role in augmenting oil production by substantially curbing oil theft, pipeline vandalism, and acts of terrorism in the creeks.
‘We have never seen such a strategic intervention that has brought peace to the Niger Delta which is necessary to guaranteed oil production and ensure sustainable development in our recent political and economic history’, His Royal Majesty Wilson Ojakovo told journalists in his Ughelli,” Delta State palace recently.
He expressed his thoughts emphatically, saying, “First and foremost, I am committed to the continuation of the Pipeline Infrastructure project. Ever since they took charge of this responsibility, there hasn’t been a single instance of vandalism, which has instilled trust in us. Those troublemakers who engage in acts of vandalism are relentless, but they refrain from causing havoc when they see that the work is ongoing. If they realize that security is tight, they’ll think twice about vandalizing the pipelines. Therefore, I, on behalf of our communities, strongly recommend to President Tinubu that they be allowed to continue.”
The Nigerian central government responded to oil shortages by collaborating with empowered community stakeholders, who worked alongside security forces to eliminate obstacles hindering increased oil production.
This initiative has led to a significant boost in oil output and fostered relative peace in a region previously plagued by violence and creek terrorism.
Addressing the situation in the Niger Delta, Canaan Ajagbawa, the former Chairman of Egbokodo Community, remarked that President Tinubu would earn a place of honor in history if he retained the Pipeline Infrastructure project.
He highlighted that over 50,000 individuals, both directly and indirectly, depended on this initiative for their livelihoods, in addition to the substantial contribution it made to maintaining stable oil production in the Niger Delta.
Recently, the military high command announced that Nigeria had thwarted oil thieves, preventing the theft of a staggering N4 billion worth of oil products. They successfully recovered 6.6 million liters of stolen crude oil, 3.5 million liters of AGO (Automotive Gas Oil), 200,000 liters of DPK (Dual Purpose Kerosene), and over 65,000 liters of Premium Motor Spirits between June and August 2023.
A high-ranking military officer, who preferred to remain anonymous, credited the success story of the combined armed forces in the Niger Delta to Pipeline Infrastructure Limited, also known as Ocean Marine Solutions.
‘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 said the strength of the company is derived from its recruitment policy which he said is motivated by merit and effective training that meets global standards.
He stated that within the government, there exist individuals who do not support the idea of the Federal Government maintaining its involvement with private stakeholders. He further noted that these particular factions are primarily driven by personal interests and a desire to undo the progress achieved in recent months.
He also emphasized that those opposing the continuation of contractor involvement are effectively acting as agents for pirates and the international network of individuals profiting immensely from the illicit activities of oil theft, generating billions of dollars in the process.