Nigerian lawmakers order probe of N5.6bn NNPC pipeline protection contract

vandalised pipeline, Photo:

The lawmakers said the NNPC’s actions was a violation of existing laws.

The House of Representatives on Wednesday ordered a probe of the N5.6 billion that NNPC spends yearly on oil pipeline protection in ‘violation’ of the NSCDC Act.

The House gave the directive in a resolution following a motion moved by Robinson Uwak (PDP-Akwa Ibom), which was adopted without debate.

The three committees charged with the investigations are those of Petroleum Resources Upstream); Interior; National Security and Intelligence.

The report of the investigation is expected to be presented to the house within four weeks.

According to Mr. Uwak, the NNPC spends N5.6 billion yearly on the protection of oil pipelines in violation of the NSCDC Act, which empowers the corps to protect the pipelines.

Section 3 (1) e states that: “The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps shall maintain 24 hours surveillance over infrastructure, sites and projects of the federal, states and local government;

“The NSCDC has powers to arrest without a warrant, detain, investigate and institute legal proceedings against any person who is reasonably suspected to have committed an offence under this Act.

“Or is involved in any power transmission lines, or oil pipelines, Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST) cables, equipment, water board pipes and equipment vandalism”.

He said that the amount of money being spent on pipeline contract could be further invested in the corps.

“The huge sums of money spent in servicing the pipeline contract could be invested in funding the NSCDC to enable it carry out its statutory function rather than giving it to a private firm in violation of the law,” he said.

The legislator said that the mobilisation of officers of the corps to locations and operations not covered by its Act violated the provisions of the Act and reduced the number of officers to carry out the duty.

He said that the violation of the Act by the corporation also violates the objectives of the 1999 constitution, as amended to minimise waste.

Meanwhile, the N259.6 billion 2013 budget of the Nigerian capital, Abuja, has passed the second reading at the floor of the House of Representatives.

The sum of N48 billion is for personnel costs, while N55.9 billion is for overhead costs and N155.7 billion for capital projects.

The chairman of the committee on Abuja, Emmanuel Jime (PDP-Benue), said that the budget was critical to the execution of the Abuja Lighter Rail project and completion of some health facilities within the territory.

He urged members to support the passage of the budget for a second reading.



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