The Hidden Agendas: Why Monarchs and Oil Thieves Clash with NNPCL CEO, National Coordinator Reveals
In a recent development, the Niger Delta Peoples Assembly, a sociopolitical group, issued a stern rebuke on Saturday regarding the protest organized by a group of youths in Warri, Delta State. The protesters had been demanding the removal of Mele Kyari, the Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), alleging misconduct among other grievances.
In a press statement bearing the signature of the National Coordinator, Richard Okotie, the Niger Delta Peoples Assembly claimed that the protest had ulterior motives, alleging that it was financially backed by an undisclosed party with self-serving interests. The core issue at stake was the non-renewal of a pipeline surveillance contract previously awarded to a private consortium, owned by the same unnamed individual, due to poor performance.
The statement further highlighted the frustration of a local monarch, who had been implicated in this matter alongside unscrupulous oil barons. Their discontent was primarily fueled by the NNPCL’s CEO, Mele Kyari, who had initiated nationalistic policies aimed at revitalizing the company. One such initiative included awarding pipeline rehabilitation and surveillance contracts to a consortium of oil firms, with the goal of ensuring the unimpeded transportation of crude oil and distribution of refined products across the country.
The crux of the monarch’s displeasure stemmed from the NNPCL’s decision not to renew his underperforming pipeline surveillance contract, which had expired in September. The monarch had hoped to exert influence in the matter, but Mele Kyari remained resolute, declining all entreaties.
The Niger Delta Peoples Assembly argued that during the period when the monarch controlled the areas in question, the crude-carrying pipelines suffered frequent compromises and vandalism by oil thieves. Shockingly, he had received substantial payments for work that was never executed. This era of unfettered financial gain had come to an end under the new leadership at the NNPCL, emphasizing the need for a more responsible and accountable approach in the oil industry.