IPMAN Worries over Pipeline Vandalism

Alison-Madueke, Petroleum Minister

The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria has warned that pipeline vandalism can cause fuel scarcity in the country

By Anayo Ezugwu  |  Feb. 3, 2014 @ 01:00 GMT

THE Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, is worried over the spate of pipeline vandalism in the country. The association has also warned members of the public to prepare for another round of hardship arising from fuel scarcity following the activities of vandals along the Ogbomoso-Ilorin oil pipelines. The IPMAN’s warning came just as members of the Odua, a local security group engaged to protect oil pipelines in Ogbomoso, withdrew their services in protest against alleged complicity of security agents in vandalising the pipelines.

Rasheed Olopade, chairman, IPMAN, Kwara State chapter, said the association was set to withdraw the services of the vigilance group hired by the association. He expressed sadness that the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, lines were no longer safe because vandals in Ogbomoso now operated freely on the pipelines. “In fact, there was official communication on Wednesday from NNPC/ PPMC that if activities of vandals continued on the lines, there is the likelihood that the oil corporation would stop pushing products to Ilorin and the implication is that the whole depot will be subjected to non-availability of petrol. If the line is not sustained, definitely PPMC cannot be wasting fuel in the name of pumping to Ilorin because it will not get there because the vandals would have done their atrocities,” he said.

 Olopade said IPMAN engaged the services of the local security men to compliment efforts of government security agencies who had the constitutional mandate to do the job when it realised that they could not do the job alone. “They are the ones sustaining our pipelines; they are the ones who made it possible for us to sell petrol at the official pump price during the last Yuletide period in Ilorin which had never happened during the previous years.”

He warned that motorists and other users of petrol would be subjected to another round of hardship that might arise from an imminent fuel crisis in the state. “Except the government and key stakeholders urgently intervened in the matter, a serious crisis is looming,” he warned.

The federal government has taken measures to check vandalism and has spent a lot of money to repair vandalised pipelines. The Pipelines and Products Marketing Company, PPMC, has said it spent N1.321 billion on clearing and grading of the Pipelines Right of Way, PROW, between 2011 and 2012. U. Musa, executive director, services, PPMC, made this known in a “PPMC 2011-2012 Performance Report,” released in Abuja. The report stated that the amount was paid to different contractors who executed the projects in some critical pipeline axis prone to vandalism across the country.

The PPMC said that the objective of embarking on the project, which covered 381.4 kilometres, was to ensure that digging, wilful damaging/breaking of pipelines and stealing of petroleum products were difficult to vandals. It said that the measure would guarantee steady supply and distribution of petroleum products.

Some of the lines cleared and graded included the 54 kilometres Port Harcourt- Aba System 2E project PROW in Port Harcourt area and the 60 kilometres Bonny-Port Harcourt crude oil PROW also in Port Harcourt area. Others include the 88.9 kilometres Warri-Benin System 2A Project PROW, Warri, the three kilometres Bulyde Jos-Gombe axis PROW, Gombe area and the four kilometres Zonkwa- Jos Axis, Gombe area. Others are the pipeline ROW from km 266-269, and four kilometres Zonkwa- Jos Axis, Gombe, 163.5 kilometres Atlas Cove-Mosimi- Ibadan System 2B product pipeline ROW, Mosimi area. The PPMC said that it had also stepped up measures to ensure adequate security of the pipelines across the country. The report said that the PPMC would take necessary steps to sustain its operations to ensure the supply and distribution of petroleum products.