So, three controversial contractors held a meeting to consider how to get the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to pay the money it allegedly owed them in respect of a three-month oil pipeline security deal that took effect from March 16 in the Southwest and some parts of the Niger Delta. From the beginning, the contracts in question were politically coloured, which is a way of saying they were corrupted by politics and politicians.
Politics remains in the picture, considering that the political figure who influenced the award of the contracts while he was in power, former President Goodluck Jonathan, failed to get a second term in office. With President Muhammadu Buhari in the saddle, there was no way his promise of change would not have changed things for the contractors. The non-renewal of the contracts after they expired was logical and reflected the public mood.
“We are telling the NNPC , if you don’t renew the contract, at least pay for the job we did for three months.” That was the voice of Mr. Gani Adams, one of the contractors and a factional chief of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), who was quoted in a report. Adams said: “It is true that we met in Eko Hotel, myself, Dr. Fasehun and General Shoot-at-Sight and we discussed how we are going to get paid for the job done for NNPC.”
More importantly, Adams distanced himself from a threat credited to Dr. Frederick Fasehun, OPC founder and fellow NNPC contractor. It is interesting to note that although rivalry between Adams and Fasehun split the OPC, the two leaders are joined or conjoined by what may be described as “the whiff of money”. The security contracts are reportedly in the multi-billion naira category. However, when it comes to what to do to make NNPC pay, according to Adams, “we did not say we would carry out any protest and that is why I came out to dissociate myself and my group from a plan by Dr. Fasehun to picket the offices of the NNPC…This is not a self-actualisation struggle, but business.”
Ultimately, isn’t this business about “self-actualisation”? Or put differently, isn’t this business about self-expansion? It is reasonable to argue that the business must have been profitable, even though the contractors keep playing down their personal increase. “About 4,000 workers were engaged by our companies – New Age Security Company owned by Dr. Fasehun; Galaxy Security Outfit Nigeria Limited owned by General Shoot-at-Sight and Donyx Global Concept Nigeria Limited owned by me.” That was Adams again.
It is thought-provoking that Adams and Fasehun give the impression that their companies have not made any money from the contracts. Adams said: “We had to source for loans to pay part of our workers’ salaries.” Fasehun said: “We were not mobilised but we went ahead to do the job because we felt concerned that the nation’s lifeline was being threatened.”
Now that they are crying about the contracts that made them laugh, they are paying the price for the politicisation of contracts.