The Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, Mr Kingsley Kuku, has said that the award of pipeline security contracts would benefit oil bearing states.
He said the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) contract would enhance community participation and human capacity development if properly handled by the companies.
The presidential aide said the controversy trailing the contract and the protest by some former agitators in Bayelsa was false.
He said for a long time he had advocated such a project to benefit oil-bearing communities in the Niger Delta.
“The communities cannot bear the effect of oil exploration activities and vandalism of pipelines and not benefit from securing their communities and environment. This is a step in the right direction by the NNPC as it will foster peace and security in the region,’’ he said.
Kuku said that the contract awarded to two firms in Bayelsa was in order, and advised those against it to cooperate with the state government to ensure its success.
He also reasoned that former leaders of the agitation in the region deserved the contract as they play a key role in ensuring the protection of the oil and gas facilities.
He, however, said the insinuation by Bayelsa Government that the former militant leaders mismanaged the amnesty programme to shortchange their followers was wrong,
According to him, the programme is managed by the Federal Government through the Office of the Special Adviser to President on Niger Delta.
“This is a programme that has positively impacted on Bayelsa and other states in the region.
“It is domicile in my office as Mr. President’s adviser on Niger Delta and it is not managed by former leaders of the agitation. Beneficiaries receive their monthly stipends and other allowances directly through their individual bank accounts and not through their former leaders,” Kuku said.
He urged the former leaders as key stakeholders in the programme and in the region to pursue peace at all times and avoid any act that would bring them in conflict with the law.