EBONYI, Nigeria – The Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Pipeline Surveillance and Security Contractors, otherwise known as Service Providers/Security Guards Contractors have rued the alleged non-payment of their 10 months salary arrears by UTM Offshore Limited, an NNPC contractor.
The Security Guards Contractors that monitors petroleum pipeline from Ishiagu Ebonyi State to Emene Enugu State, have now given UTM Offshore Limited a 7-day ultimatum to pay the salary arrears or face court action.
They made their demand known in a protest letter to the Company’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, dated June 2, 2020, and signed by their Counsel, J. I. Olinya, disclosing that their counterparts in the West and Northern parts have been paid up to date.
They said that through their services, NNPC was able to move oil products from Port-Harcourt to Enugu Depot after over 15 years the depot was abandoned and forgotten.
In the letter, titled “Protest on refusal/non-payment of ten 10 months arrears of salary for service providers/security guards contractors of the petroleum pipeline, leading through Ishiagu-Ebonyi State to Emene Enugu State by UTM Offshore Limited,” they appealed to NNPC to prevail on their contractors to pay them the salaries.
The letter read in parts: “The Service Providers/Security Guards contractors, appreciate the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for finding UTM Offshore Limited worthy of award of such bonafide contract.
“They are also happy and confident that UTM as a company performed creditably well, in the cause of delivery it’s service to the NNPC, by bringing to life and operation the Port-Harcourt – Enugu Petroleum Pipeline which was in a moribund state, abandoned and forgotten prior to the contractual intervention of the UTM.
“It is also a verifiable fact that UTM was able to move oil products from Port-Harcourt to Enugu Depot after, over 15 years, it was abandoned and forgotten. All these are to the credit of the UTM company, through the help of the services rendered to her by the service providers/security guard contractors of Ebonyi/Enugu state.
“Why then should our clients not be paid for their 10 months arrears of salary which is their entitlement and rights after such excellence performance,” they queried.
Olinya added, “If the UTM company alleged incurring losses, was it traceable to the negligence of our clients in any way? Or should our clients suffer losses that were not connected to their services?
“We are reliably informed by our clients that their counterpart contractors from West and Northern Nigeria had been paid without storytelling from any quarters, even when it is recorded that the west and northern counterpart incurred some losses more than the UTM company. Why should our clients’ case be different, if it is not injustice and unfair-play targeted against the Southeast as usual, and a ploy to sabotage the effective functioning of the Enugu Depot again.
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“Our clients are entitled to their remuneration. Hence, we are effectively demanding that they be paid and given all their entitlement within seven clear days of reception of this letter or be made to have good understanding with the UTM management before the situation degenerates legal tussle.
“We also wish to make it open and known to the UTM Offshore Limited through this medium, that this letter also serves as pre-action notice to the company. If the company refused to pay our clients or ignored to have good understanding between it and our clients, within the contemplated seven clear days, we may proceed to court of competent jurisdiction where our rights with the company shall be decided.”