The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has disclosed that the collaboration of all stakeholders is critical to curbing pipeline vandalism and oil theft, which result in explosions.
The Group Managing Director, NNPC, Mele Kyari divulged this during his visit to the Oba of Lagos, His Royal Majesty, Oba Rilwan Babatunde Osuolale Aremu Akiolu 1, to commiserate with him on the loss of five lives and properties worth hundreds of millions of naira in the Abule-Egba pipeline fire.
The Oba, who condemned pipeline vandalism and oil theft, stated that the acts could be attributed to desires to get quick money. He added that individuals no longer want to work hard to earn a living but do all kinds of illegal activities to get quick wealth.
Meanwhile, the NNPC urged the Oba of Lagos to work with other traditional rulers in the state to help secure pipelines. The corporation added that the health, environmental, economic and other hazards caused by the vandals, especially the loss of lives, were not permissible.
Oba Akiolu pledged his support to organise other Obas in the state to help put pipeline destruction to a stop. The NNPC boss, on his part, called for synergy among security agencies, traditional leaders, residents and all well-meaning Nigerians in curbing this ugly trend.
However, the NNPC boss disclosed the pipeline was restored on Monday and had begun operation. In curing illegal mining of crude oil from pipelines, Mele Kyari said,
“However, we are also happy that we have restored the line after the break, we shut down the line to contain the damage it can cause but now we are back on stream. Petroleum products are flowing all the way from Atlas Cove to Ilorin as we speak. But what is important is to sustain this operation, and to sustain it, everyone should cooperate with us.
“We are working with all the security agencies including the NNPC to take out the bad elements in our midst. We agree there are compromises within the NNPC, the security agencies, communities and everyone involved in this.”
Achievement so far: “What we have done in the last two months is work with these agencies to make sure that we take out the bad elements out of us, resolve this issue and delete them if we need to do that and that is what we will do.
“For communities that harbour this act, the warning is that this act constitutes danger to all of us. For those who are particularly involved in tapping our petroleum products or laying pipes to their homes, the Governor and Lagos State Government have agreed we must take out these houses no matter who owns them or what they do. Once we establish that your property is involved in this, we take it out.
“We are already doing that. So far, the Nigerian Navy has taken out over 300 houses along our pipeline Right of Way (RoW) and we will continue to do this. By the time we are done with this, sanity will come to this line we assure Nigerians that it will be safe for all of us,” he stated.