By AUSTIN OWOICHO, Abuja
Ocean Marine Services (OMS) has denied allegation of impropriety on its multi-million dollars pipeline surveillance deals with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The company which said this in a document noted that its attention has been drawn to a publication by Eraskorp Nigeria Limited (Eraskorp) in ThisDay newspaper of 10 December 2018, on page 32, with the caption “Award Of Trans Forcados Pipeline Surveillance Contract To Ocean Marine Services Limited” (the “Publication”) in which some of these allegations were made.
“As a matter of policy, OMS ordinarily would not respond to publications of this nature – which serve no purpose other than to malign, with calculated untruths.
This said, we are constrained to respond to the Publication in the sole interest of the general public who have been presented with a Publication that is riddled with untruths, inaccuracies, and fabrications which we believe serves no utilitarian purpose than to undercut the reputation and goodwill of the Company.
“Many in the oil and gas industry and even in the Nigerian commercial sphere are aware that OMS is a law-abiding corporation with a sterling reputation of probity, integrity and competence that has made significant contributions to the Nigerian economy. We fully intend to protect this hard-earned reputation. Accordingly, in all our years of existence, we have conducted our business fully in compliance with the law, and as a testament to this, allegations of impropriety have never been proven against OMS,” the document read.
“As it relates to our competence, the record of our contribution to the Nigerian economy, through stellar services, are clear. We need not itemise our track record of success on this platform, in order to give credence to our work. That said, we categorically state that we are proud of our work in assisting the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (“NNPC”) in a number of pipeline surveillance mandates, including our impressive performance surveilling the Bonny-Port Harcourt and Warri-Escravos evacuation lines.
“Despite the allegations in the Publication, what is independently verifiable is that our efforts are directly responsible for an increase in revenues for Nigeria and a significant reduction in what had become recurring costs in repairing damaged and/or vandalised pipelines.
“We counsel that any allegations of corruption by Eraskorp should be directed at the relevant anti-graft agency (ies), rather than co-opting the instrumentality of the media to conduct a media trial that relies on pedestrian, half-baked, and inaccurate allegations, devoid of factual evidence. OMS prides itself on its robust anti-corruption policy, and for the avoidance of doubt, the Company does not engage in any form of corrupt practices, economic crimes, financial crimes and/or acts of economic sabotage. Specifically, the award of the surveillance contract for the Trans Forcados Pipeline (TFP) to OMS followed due process, with no wrongdoing, illegality, or illicit activities underpinning its award,” the company said.
It continued: “We take the allegations of impropriety in the Publication very seriously, and we would be pursuing our legal remedies, including but not limited to actions in defamation and injurious falsehood.
“We trust that in this era of fake news, our media houses and journalists would continue to uphold the standards of their profession by verifying publications, at all times, with authentic and reliable sources, before publishing. We must never sacrifice truth on the altar of sensationalism.”