Surveillance contractor denies paying half-salary to protesting Youths in Bayelsa
By Aherhoke Okioma
A Security surveillance company, Kojo Sam Logistics Limited/Labrador Security Outfit, involved in the multimillion naira crude oil pipeline surveillance job awarded by the Nigerian Petroleum Development Limited has denied involvement in the half-salary payment scandal that triggered a protest on Monday among Youths from the Nembe and Brass Local Government areas of Bayelsa State which led to the seizure of patrol boats belonging to the company.
According to the Media Consultant to the Company, Ala Mathias Nyenye, said the despite the fact that the claim of the company’s complicity in the half-salary payment was untrue and false, salary payments by the company were made to the workers’ coordinators in various communities and that the aggrieved youths should direct their grievances to the coordinators and not Kojo Sam Logistics Limited/Labrador Security Outfit.
The company in a statement stated that the aggrieved youths wrongly accused the company of paying only fifty thousand naira, against the initial agreement of one hundred thousand naira monthly allowance in a bid to accommodate a good number of youths in the area.
According to the statement made available to newsmen via electronic mail, They described the incident as unfortunate, insisting that a group of individuals will attempt to smear the company’s reputation and that of the company’s MD/CEO with false accusations.
“It is unfair for anyone to accuse the company of half payment of allowances when complete payments were made to the coordinators’ bank account in charge of the various communities who are responsible for disbursing complete allowances to newly employed workers.”
The statement added that there are documents to show that full payments were made to the coordinators who received the monies from the company, “The management further stressed that the company should no longer be accused or linked to cases of incomplete payment as they do not deal directly with the workers regarding this first payment, adding that, aggrieved workers should hold their coordinators responsible in case of next time for any form of anomalies in the payment process and not to target the company and its owner with unholy and unscrupulous intentions”.
It would be recalled that angry Youths from the Nembe and Brass Local Government areas of Bayelsa State had on Monday staged a protest against the incomplete payment of allowances by one of the Anti-crude oil theft surveillance contractors, Kojo Sam Logistics Limited, leading to the seizure of patrol boats belonging to the company in the area.
Over 2,000 youths engaged in Bayelsa state by the State Coordinator of the Tantita Security Services owned by the foremost Former Militant leader, High Chief Government Ekpemupolo also known as Tompolo, were paid N50, 000 as against the N200,000 monthly allowance for the job.
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Investigations showed that despite the existing agreement between the Chief Executive Officer of Kojo Sam Logistics Limited, Chief Kojo Sam and the Youths over the payment of N100, 000 monthly in order to accommodate more youths in the crude oil pipeline surveillance jobs, the company paid them N50, 000 instead of the agreed N100,000.
The aggrieved Youths mainly from Okpoama town in Brass Local Government Area of the State, in a protest against the shortage of payments, seized the boats and threatened to set them ablaze.
A source told newsmen in Yenagoa that the angry youths, who are from the same community with the Minister of State for Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva, accused Chief Kojo Sam of reneging on the existing agreement and short-changed them in the monthly payment of their oil pipeline surveillance jobs.
The Youths have however dragged all the company boats to land, warning that nobody will touch the boats until the money is fully paid. The ugly development is threatening the peace and security in Okpoama community.
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