The Nigerian government has reportedly given a former militant leader Government Ekpemupolo aka Tompolo a multi-million dollar pipeline surveillance contract.
The deal will see Tompolo help curb illegal bunkering, illegal refining and other forms of oil theft in the Niger Delta, reports The Nation.
Part of those who brokered the deal were the minister of state for petroleum Timipre Sylva and officials of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Limited.
The newspaper reported that its source said the deal was worth over N4billion monthly.
“Before the cancellation of his contract, the arrangements he put in place tackled illegal bunkering and increased production quota to over two million barrels per day,” the source said.
Tompolo was hired for a similar function during the Jonathan administration.
The source also said the Buhari administration decided to renew the contract because of the hundreds of thousands of barrels of crude oil lost daily to illegal bunkering.
The newspaper further reported that Tompolo held a stakeholders’ meeting in his Oporoza country home in the Gbaramatu Kingdom, Delta State on Wednesday after he was handed the contract.
About 5,000 persons were said to have attended the meeting including former commanders of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND).
Others who reportedly attended are former presidents of the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) Worldwide, Chris Ekiyor, Udengs Eradiri and Eric Omare; priests of Egbesu, Ijaw religious organisation, led by Apostle Bodmas Kemepadei; leaders of all youth groups in the Niger Delta, heads of notorious cult groups in the region among others.
In April, northern youths under the aegis of the Arewa Youths Assembly warned the Federal Government against awarding the contract to Tompolo.
The group accused him of disrespecting the Buhari administration.