Checking Oil Pipeline Vandals

(L-R) Momoh, Yakubu and Peter Nmadu, GED, corporate services, NNPC
(L-R) Momoh, Yakubu and Peter Nmadu, GED, corporate services, NNPC

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation devises strategies to end oil pipelines vandalism in Arepo near Lagos

|  By Anayo Ezugwu  |  Mar. 11, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT

THE Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, is determined to stop vandals from wrecking its pipelines. The corporation has deployed a state-of-the-art technology to maintain a comprehensive surveillance of the pipeline, especially the System 2B artery in Arepo, Ogun State.

Already, an indigenous engineering firm, ENIKKOM, has been mobilised to redirect the pipeline from the reach of vandals with modern technology to monitor it on a regular basis. ENIKKOM Construction, an engineering firm, is bringing modern technology to bury the pipelines 40 metres deep into the ground on the right of way. The company is to complete the work by May.

According to Andrew Yakubu, group managing director, NNPC, new pipelines will be used to change the configuration in order to keep the Corporation’s critical infrastructure away from vandals.” Yakubu was at the project site, February 26, to ascertain the extent of work done by the Nigerian Army Engineering Corps code named SAPA, on the clearance of the pipeline right of way at Arepo.

Yakubu said in matching words with action and in order to continue to improve the right of way of the pipelines, the NNPC has also built a watch tower and a police post, and would ensure that the hot spots would be completely secured, adding that this would also prevent the loss of lives. The NNPC will also build a long wide platform that will ensure easy access at anytime for the security forces over the swamps.

The project has a very high cost benefit to the NNPC, which records a loss of N600 million every week that the System 2B is hacked down by vandals. The project also has the full support of President Goodluck Jonathan and the top leadership of the security agencies. Yakubu appealed to state governments, local government, communities and other stakeholders to join hands with the NNPC to stamp out pipeline vandalism so that the economy will grow.  He also seized the opportunity to confirm that all the refineries were running at different levels of effectiveness, noting that TAM for Port Harcourt refinery, PHRC, has been scheduled for April this year.

The NNPC boss was accompanied by Haruna Momoh, managing director of the Pipelines and Products marketing Company, PPMC, Emeka Okonkwo, a brigadier.-general, .who represented Azubuike Ihejirika, chief of army staff and Edward, managing director, ENIKKOM Construction, the company laying the pipelines.

Momoh allayed the fear of the public over shortage of petroleum products due to pipeline vandalism, when he said, that with the two hundred and fifty eight tanks in 21 depots and a holding capacity of 2.6 billion litres of petroleum products and with the over 5,000km network of pipelines across the country, the NNPC was ready to constantly wet the nation with products. He assured Nigerians that the NNPC would continue to do all within its ability to ensure that fuel queues remained a thing of the past.

For Okonkwo, it is the duty of the army to support civil authority and that the army is in Arepo to re-establish the right of way of the NNPC pipeline from Mosimi to Ibadan within 90 days. He assured that the military engineers would deliver on its mandate.

The management of the NNPC mobilised the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Police and the Nigerian Civil Defence Corps to the NNPC System 2B artery in Arepo, after the January 12, pipeline damage to check the tide of pipeline hacking in the area.

It should also be recalled that three NNPC engineers lost their lives to the pipeline vandals last year. Many of the vandals had been arrested and some of them are already being trial in court.

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