What was expected to bring a long lasting peace to the Niger Delta area seems to have been lost following an announcement on Wednesday by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The corporation made known that of the 40 companies and individuals, who applied for oil lifting contracts in Nigeria, only two are from the region.
The NNPC announced Wale Tinubu’s Oando, Toye Cole’s Sahara Energy Resources, Uche Ogah’s Masters Energy, Sayyu Dantata’s MRS Oil and 36 other companies as winners of the crude oil term contract.
These companies will have the license for the purchasing and lifting of 1.306 million barrels per day of Nigeria’s crude oil for 2017/2018, beginning January 1, 2017.
Named among the big firms include, Sahara, Trafigura, Duke Oil and Master Energy, each of which is to lift a minimum of 32,000 barrels per day.
The companies had applied for the contracts in June 2016 said the NNPC Group General Manager, Crude Oil Marketing Division (COMD), Mr. Mele Kyari.
He said the contract, which is to run for one year effective 1st January 2017 “is for consecutive twelve circles of crude oil allocation
“All the contracts are for 32,000 barrels per day except Duke Oil Ltd, an oil trading arm of the NNPC, which shall be for 90,000 barrels per day,” Kyari said.
But many analysts have criticized the contract, citing cases of lopsidedness, which was one thing the militants in the Niger Delta region have been fighting against.
Mr. Bruno Koromo, a spokesman of one of the militant groups said in a telephone chat that the action of the NNPC was a confirmation of the fact that the injustice in the region is yet to be addressed.
Hear him: “We have it on good authority that more than 40 of the applications from the indigenes of the Niger Delta had only three considered for the contracts and were given the least of volume of crude to lift.
“Of course, we have been insisting that the government is not serious in settling the crisis of confidence that has been prevailing in the region, which makes it possible for the land producing crude and suffering all hardship as a result not to benefit from their God given wealth.”
An expert, John Udeh, said there was some injustice in the allotment of the blocs to some companies that were eventually considered, adding:”there is a need to review the exercise to assure the militants that their cries were being listened to.”
But the NNPC Group Managing Director of the Corporation, Dr. Maikanti Kacalla Baru defending the action of his outfit said: “We will ensure transparency and fairness in the process. There is nothing that is hidden just as you have seen today.”
He said the bid was transparent and should be seen as one of the ways to survive the present recession as more oil lifting will be anticipated in the nearest future.
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