Founder of Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), Dr Fredrick Fasehun, yesterday said the group might sue the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) over its failure to pay its N1.9 billion as debt accruing for the protection of pipelines contract terminated over a month ago.
“The contract was drafted by the NNPC and both parties signed it. We began on March 16, 2015 and the contract was for three months. I put 4,020 youths on the pipeline and for three months, we did the job with utmost integrity and righteousness. There was no complaint of pipeline vandalism. We were not mobilised but we went ahead to do the job because we felt concerned that the lifeline of the country was being threatened.
“While the contract was on, there was a change in government but I believe government is continuum and any contract signed on behalf of one government should be honoured by its successor,” said Fasehun.
The OPC Founder said that after the NNPC refused to renew the contract which expired in June, it also failed to make the N1,500 daily payment to each of the 4,020 youths who executed the job. He explained that efforts to ensure that the NNPC honours the agreement had yielded no result.
“If we adopt the peaceful method we have been adopting for over a month and the government or NNPC refuses to comply with its own contract, of course, the only other arbiter is the court. It is in our favour to go to court because we can then ask for many other things like damages, special damages and interest the money could have generated during the period,” he said.
Fasehun pointed out that the NNPC was losing N7 billion daily to pipeline vandalism in the South West prior to the award of the contract.
“We saved billions for the NNPC and it is only fair that these youths, who went into the forest for three months to protect the pipelines, should be paid their money,” Fasehun added.