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Economic Sabotage: Kola Karim, Eraskorp Indicted

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Economic Sabotage: Kola Karim, Eraskorp Indicted

Economic Sabotage: Kola Karim, Eraskorp Indicted
January 08
22:29 2019

…how Nigeria lost $800 million to them; probe imminent

Kola Karim and Maxwell Okoh’s Eraskorp Nigeria Limited have been fingered in activities capable of sabotaging Nigeria’s effort at securing the nation’s strategic infrastructure and curbing illegal bunkering, oil theft and vandalism, making the country lose a whooping sum of $800 million.

Eraskorp, which has been stripped of a juicy surveillance contract by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) after it failed to secure the 87-kilometre Trans Forcados Pipeline (TFP) as stipulated in the contract and in the process led Nigeria to lose over $800 million, reportedly resorted to a sustained smear campaign against Ocean Marine Solutions Limited (OMS), the new awardee of the contract and the NNPC.

Eraskorp, through its Director, Richard Ogugu, had stirred the hornet nest when it stated that the re-award of the TFP security contract to Ocean Marine Solutions (OMS) Limited, owned by Capt. Idahosa Okunbo, was steeped in irregularities and deceits, and violated laid down rules.

In its deferred reaction, Ocean Marine Solutions, which is a leading asset company dedicated to protecting the country’s resources from graft and illegal activities, has called on the Federal Government to investigate what it called the “calamitous mismanagement” of TFP and prosecute those responsible for the campaign of calumny.

In what the OMS described as a desperate quest to malign and create public disaffection against it, Eraskorp alleged that the NNPC awarded and re-awarded several surveillance and security contracts to the company for a total sum of $9.9 million per month.

“This assertion is not only a fallacy but also a deliberate misrepresentation of facts as OMS currently manages and is in contract only on the Escravos – Warri and Bonny – Port Harcourt pipelines,” OMS stated, while also dismissing as untrue the allegation that the security contract for TFP was awarded to OMS against the wise counsel of all stakeholders in OML 30, the JV Partners, Operators and 111 communities in the oil field.

OMS also refuted as false and baseless the claim that the TFP contract offered to OMS is three times that of the Eraskorp contract.

“The deployment structure, scope, terms and conditions of the proposed contract to OMS differs in all ramifications to that of the Eraskorp agreement. Contrary to the false assertion put about by Eraskorp and others that pipeline security and surveillance contracts awarded to OMS by NNPC did not follow due process, it is pertinent to state that the contract followed due process and complied with the relevant provisions of the Public Procurement Act.

“All our contracts from the IOCs and NPDC (NNPC) have fully followed the due process in line with international competitive bidding; the “Proof of Concept” or “The Cure and Pay” model which has been our modus operandi and hardly found in the oil and gas industry, creating uncommon values for clients. It has remained the duty of OMS to effectively protect and maintain these pipelines whether the refineries are working or not as abandoning them will make them revert to their once deplorable state. OMS contract is on a fixed cost element so long as the line is protected,” OMS further stated.

Ocean Marine Solutions traced the origin of its relationship with the NNPC to its sterling success at revamping and rehabilitating the Escravos-Warri pipeline, after which the NNPC approached it (OMS) to replicate the achievement on the Bonny-Port Harcourt pipeline.

“Our efforts led to the formal re-commissioning of those pipelines on 22 and 23 April 2016 by the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, and the immediate past Group Managing Director, NNPC. Since April 2016, we have delivered 60,177,843 barrels of oil (and counting) to both refineries without any loss to the nation,” OMS stated.

“OMS did not seek out the TFP security and surveillance contract. We were approached and invited to render our services because of the dire security situation and because we have a reputation for delivering results… OMS has pioneered a lasting solution in the quest for a cost-effective and operationally efficient method of supplying Nigeria’s refineries with crude oil feedstock for local refining and consumption. We have shown that Nigeria does not have to accept failure,” the firm clarified.

Meanwhile, the NNPC has publicly declared that there is nothing illegal in respect of the security contracts awarded to OMS for the provision of security and maintenance services for the Escravos-Warri and Bonny-Port Harcourt pipelines: “It is pertinent to note that the TFP contract is not subject to the provisions of the Public Procurement Act (PPA) 2017 by virtue of Section 15 (1) (b) of the PPA.”

Corroborating OMS position, the Corporation, through its Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Ndu Ughamadu, explained that the decision to assign the surveillance package to Ocean Marine Solutions was reached “after consideration of huge losses on TFP and rigorous appraisal of the company’s impressive record of performance on the Bonny-Port Harcourt and Warri-Escravos crude evacuation lines.”

Plagued with massive losses in projected revenue, stakeholders in the TFP which accounts for daily production throughput of over 250, 000 barrels of crude oil were unanimous in the decision to do away with Erascorp epileptic delivery to seek better and improved service in Ocean Marine.

“In 2018, we lost over 60 days of production due to incessant breaches on the TFP despite having a security contract in place. In terms of production numbers, this translates to over 11 million barrels of crude oil which on face value equates to over $800m in lost revenue to all the stakeholders in the matrix which includes:  NNPC, its Joint Venture partners and the Nigerian Federation,’’ the Corporation stated.

The NNPC stated that no responsible business entity or government would allow this level of haemorrhage to subsist without acting swiftly to protect the enterprise from further bleeding.

The Corporation clarified that the new contract which requires the contractor to pay for any damage to any inch of pipeline under its watch, offers immeasurable benefits to the NNPC, its Joint Venture partners, the host communities and the entire Federation.

Under this package, the surveillance company is obligated to protect the lines and bear the cost of repairs if and when there is any breach to the pipeline.

This arrangement is totally different from the old order where the contractor gets paid for surveillance duties and totally exempted from repair cost or any form of responsibility in the event of any line break or breach to the pipeline he is paid to watch.

On the alleged huge cost of the new contract, the Corporation explained that the cost of the new deal pales into insignificance when placed side by side and value-for-money with the old arrangement.

Reports yet to be confirmed have it that the Presidency might be raising an ad hoc panel to look into the old TFP surveillance contract, as the FG is concerned about the $800 million loss due to alleged contract breach.

In a deft move to control their alleged but now boomeranged subterfuge and smear campaign against OMS, Kola Karim was said to have extended an olive branch to OMS’ founder and chairman, Captain Okunbo.

“We also have on record several requests from Kola Karim to meet with Capt (Dr) Idahosa Okunbo which were declined as well as unethical offers made to OMS by Kola Karim on behalf of Eraskorp’s Maxwell Okoh and Morris Idiovwa. “It must also be stated that the Executive Chairman and vision bearer of OMS – Capt (Dr) Idahosa Okunbo – is a man of great integrity, who has served the oil industry for about 30 years without any blemish. Never been called for questioning, interrogated or indicted by any government security agent over the conduct of his businesses in the oil and gas industry,” OMS claimed.

 

Source: oilandgasreview

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