The House of Representatives on Wednesday asked the Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC) to suspend all subsisting pipeline surveillance contracts in Bayelsa State.
This followed a motion moved by a member, representing Sagbama/ Ekeremor Federal Constituency, Hon. Frederick Agbedi.
Agbedi in the motion said Bayelsa State plays host to Agip with their personnel, pipelines and other oil installations spread across various communities in the state.
He explained that, as a result of the challenge of Pipeline vandalism in the Niger Delta region and upon the successful implementation of the Presidential Amnesty Program, pipeline surveillance contracts were agreed to be awarded to host communities.
According to him, the decision was because the host communities are more familiar with the terrain and engaging them will add to the development of their area.
The lawmaker further explained that, rather than award the pipeline surveillance contracts to the host communities, Agip in Bayelsa State gave it to some select favoured allies, which has now become a catalyst for several conflicts in the respective communities.
Hon. Agbedi noted that the youths in the communities feel marginalised and have on several occasions expressed their grievances through violent protests, sometimes clashing with security operatives attached to the contractors resulting in the loss of lives and properties.
“Mr Speaker, the development undermines the efforts of government to enforce and strengthen security in the state. And we are concerned, that unless this abnormality is corrected and the respective host communities are carried along, the issue of Pipeline Surveillance Contracts by the Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC) will continue to brew violence in the state and therefore needs to be investigated,” Agbedi said.
The House thereafter resolved to constitute an ad hoc committee to investigate the award of pipeline surveillance contracts by Agip in Bayelsa State to ascertain the beneficiaries of the contract awards and/or employment and their impact on the oil producing communities.
It also resolved to determine whatever consequential losses or otherwise of the contracts on the net national revenue derivable from the existing NNPC/NAOC Joint venture operations.
The lower chamber equally resolved to determine the security implications to Bayelsa State, the Niger Delta and the nation at large, arising from the award and execution of these contracts and report back to the House within three (3) weeks for further legislative action.
The resolution of the House of Representatives is coming few days after the Bayelsa State House of Assembly raised an alarm over the activities of Darlon Security and Guards in Bayelsa State.
The lawmakers had accused the company of violating its mandate and causing havoc in communities, where it is operating and called on the National Assembly to intervene