The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has flagged off a campaign to sensitise Nigerians on adverse effects of pipeline vandalism
| By Anayo Ezugwu | Jan. 26, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT |
IN its bid to reduce regular pipeline vandalisation in the country, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, is appealing to host communities to help to protect its pipelines. NNPC and its midstream subsidiary, the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company, PPMC, at a two-day anti-pipeline vandalism campaign in Idimu, Alimosho local government area, Lagos State, recently urged residents in communities close to pipelines, to see the pipelines as their own and protect them as their own property.
The campaign was organised to sensitise residents on the need to join in the war against pipeline vandalism. At the event which included a road-show through the communities adjoining the pipeline right of way in the area up to the Ejigbo Depot and the major pipeline vandalism flashpoints of Ijeododo and Arepo, Ohi Alegbe, group general manager, group public affairs division, NNPC, who was represented by Nasir Imodagbe, manager, public affairs department, PPMC, called on residents to be vigilant and report all suspicious movements around the pipeline to the NNPC or security agencies.
“What many people don’t know is that besides explosions and pipeline fires that destroy lives and property in these communities, there are more pernicious effects of pipeline vandalism such as its potential to wipe out entire communities through the harm it does to the environment as a result of the constant spillage of products,” he said.
On the harmful effects of pipeline vandalism on local communities, Alegbe explained that the oil that is spilled into the environment when vandals and oil thieves hack into pipelines “destroys aquatic life, pollutes the ground water and renders water from boreholes unsafe for consumption; contaminates the soil and makes it unfit to support any meaningful agricultural activity; and ultimately reduce the quality of life of the people living around such places.”
On the economic effects of pipeline vandalism, the corporation stated that apart from the huge sums of money that government loses in the form of products losses and cost of pipeline repairs, the average citizen loses much when he has to spend endless hours on queues at filling stations and sometimes has to pay more to get products at the black market during products scarcity resulting from the breach of the pipelines by vandals and oil thieves.
“So, you can see that no one is completely exempted from the harmful effects of this criminal act perpetrated by a few unscrupulous elements among us. It is therefore our collective responsibility to be vigilant and see the pipelines as our own and protect them as our property because if we don’t, we are all going to suffer the harmful effects one way or the other. If you can’t confront the vandals and oil thieves, at least you can call any of the toll free lines and report them; sitting down and doing nothing will not save you from the harmful effect of their criminal activities,” he stated.
Azeez Olayeni Olugoke II, traditional ruler of Idimu land, called on all residents of the community to shun criminal activities, especially oil theft and pipeline vandalism, adding that as a policy the community does not protect anyone caught perpetrating such acts. The Oba promised to take the message to his people and help mobilise the community to help tackle pipeline vandalism.
Some of the dignitaries who that attended the flag-off ceremony include Bashir Jimoh, Ajiroba of Idimuland; A. A. Agwandas, manager in charge of the Mosimi Area of PPMC; Lawrence Ekpa, manager, Ejigbo Depot; and Bashir Sidi, deputy manager, Pipeline Right of Way, Mosimi Area.