The Niger Delta Region of Nigeria is often described as the life wire of the nation’s economy owing to the vast production of oil and gas responsible for majority of the nation’s total earning.
Since the discovery of oil wealth in Nigeria in the late 50’s, the region has perennially suffered from environmental neglect, crumbling infrastructures and services, high unemployment, social deprivation, abject poverty and endemic conflict.
Owing to the obvious lack of development in the region companies operating in the area had to compliment in practical terms by embarking on increased community development initiatives that provide direct social benefits such as local employment, new infrastructure, schools, and improved health care delivery.
One daunting challenge confronting the smooth operation of oil servicing companies that provide safety to pipelines that delivers crude oil to refineries is the unwholesome criminal activities of some youth for selfish reason to frustrate the operation of these companies.
Even though there is no law compelling companies to embark on Corporate Social Responsibility, CSR, however, Ocean Marine Solutions, OMS, a technologically driven oil serving company has lived up to the responsibility of giving back to communities where its operating. The move by OMS in giving back underscore a recent protest and threat by a some faceless group to undermine the effort of the Chief Executive Officer of Ocean Marine Solution, Capt Wells Hosa Okunbo.
In a futile effort to tarnish the image of the multi-billion naira company, the said group had threatened to resume attack and vandalization of delivering pipeline, along the Trans Forcados Pipeline, TFP. This threat in my view is a sad reminder of days in the region where hostility and incessant attack on oil facilities was a daily occurrence which should not be allowed to rear its ugly head.
It is my candid view that this new wave of threat by these group to resume hostilities and attack on pipeline was as a result of the success story of OMS in safe guiding the nation’s resources. The operation of OMS has kept the criminal elements out of ‘job’ whose only known enterprise was illegal bunkering and oil theft.
And that is why the Niger Delta ex-militant Task Force set uo to tackle rising issues of oil pipeline vandalisation and crude oil theft in the nine state of the region has disown some self –acclaimed group agitating for the revocation of the surveillance contracts for the protection of the 87 kilometre Trans Forcados crude oil pipeline operated by OMS, an indigenous contractor from Niger Delta owned by Captain Hosa Okunbo, a bonafide Niger Delta indigenous oil contractor.
The leader of the ex-militant task force, Gen Fiawei Pathfinder posited that the calls for the dissolution of the pipeline surveillance contracts is illegal, evil, self-centred tribal sentiment and a ploy by illegal oil bunkerers in Forcados and Escravos to have an unhindered access to the nation crude oil
Again, in their orchestrated failed bid, their next agenda was to launch a campaign of calumny and character assassination on person of Capt Hosa Okunbo and Ocean Marine Solution with baseless and senseless allegation of not engaging youth in the communities where the company operate.
To put the facts of the matter in proper perspectives and in defence of the lies and falsehood it dished out to the public, stakeholders in the affected communities in Ughelli South, Okpe, Uvwie, Warri South, Warri South West and terminates at the River Manifold in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta state, came out in their numbers to rubbish the false allegations.
The leaders admitted that over 820 indigenes of the community had benefited in the surveillance job of (TFP), lines across communities in Delta state who are gainfully engaged by OMS.
According to Mr Jonah Akpofure and Mr Efe Omatsuji had noted that the operations of OMS in the area had brought about peace and development in the riverine areas.
In his words, “TFP is owned by Shell and it runs across communities in Ughelli North, Ughelli South, Okpe, Uvwie, Warri South, Warri South-West and terminates at the Forcados River Manifold in Burutu Local Government Area.
“All the undersigned Presidents-General, leaders of the TFP and host Communities have been drawn to misleading publications by some faceless organisations in the social media over the management of the TFP surveillance job by OMS.
“We make bold to affirm that the reports are based on selfish interest and designed to cause disaffection and crisis in the peaceful riverine communities in Delta.
“For the avoidance of doubt, OMS has engaged about 820 persons on surveillance of TFP through the duly elected”
The leaders commended the Chairman of OMS, Mr Hosa Okunbo, for the good work and urged the Federal Government and other relevant stakeholders to support the company.
Finally, it is noteworthy to state that prior to the intervention by OMS in 2015/2016, the nation was losing about 40-50% of its crude almost on a daily basis to oil thieves who had constituted themselves into a powerful cabal with the sole aim of bringing the nation’s economy to its kneels for their selfish interest.
OMS came on a rescue mission has successfully put an end to illegal bunkering, oil theft on the Escravos-Warri and Bonny –Portharcourt crude oil pipelines.
As one of the leading asset protection company in the oil and gas industry their intervention has brought sanity, rise in oil production and saving the Country of billions of dollars which is an attestation of it professionalism in handling critical task where others have failed.
Ochoga, sent this piece from Benin.
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