From Uche Usim, Abuja
Hopes of improved petroleum products supply in the country brightened yesterday as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) announced the resumption of loading activities at its Mosimi area depot in Ogun State.
The Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru, who supervised the recommencement of loading operations at the weekend, said the development marked a major milestone in NNPC’s quest to ensure steady supply and distribution of white petroleum products across the nation.
Baru, who was represented by the Chief Operating Officer, Downstream, Mr. Henry Ikem-Obih, said, “today marks the beginning of a new era of hope and the return of commercial activities in this economic corridor, as products are being received in Atlas Cove and pumped to Mosimi for onward pumping to satellite depots and loading from these two great depots in this area.”
He added: “This is a historic day for NNPC, the South West Region and Nigeria as this great area is once again back on stream, bringing more fortunes for all and sundry. The stress of moving our trucks to Lagos to convey petroleum products to this area is getting highly minimised.”
Recall that System 2B Pipeline (Mosimi Area) has been down for almost a year now (from May, 2016) due to the activities of pipeline vandals along the Atlas Cove-Mosimi Pipeline Right of Way (PROW), a development that has crippled commercial activities and loss of lives due to criminal activities of vandals.
“At some point, commercial activities that spun from our operations in this area had to be moved to Lagos. We can see that vandalism causes huge loss not only to NNPC but to the host communities and the general public,” the GMD explained.
He thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for the constant support in ensuring the revamping of critical oil and gas infrastructure, especially petroleum products’ storage and distribution facilities that will aid effective distribution of products across the country.
The GMD also commended the Ogun State government for its commitment towards ensuring the security of NNPC’s pipeline network, especially around Arepo area.
He further noted that the re-streaming of loading activities at the Mosimi area was in line with NNPC’s drive to ensure development of oil and gas infrastructure as contained in the corporation’s 12 Business Focus Areas (12 BUFA) and by extension, realising the President’s agenda of adding value across the entire oil and gas value chain.
The GMD observed that the NNPC had recently rehabilitated and re-streamed some critical oil and gas infrastructure and petroleum product facilities such as the System 2E (Port Harcourt-Aba) pipeline after over a decade of poor functionality.
“This effort will continue. Already, plans are underway to re-commission System 2D (Kaduna-Kano; Kaduna-Jos; Kaduna-Suleja) pipeline. Very soon Kano, Jos and Suleja will experience the impact of our collective resolve to get these critical infrastructure back on stream,” he stated.
Speaking earlier, Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, who was represented by the consultant to the state government, Mr. T. A. Fagbemi, lauded NNPC for resuming loading operations at the area, stressing that the development had positively affected the lives of the people in the area and the entire South West.
He added that Ogun State government was committed to helping NNPC and security agencies secure the pipelines along the Mosimi axis.
Also speaking, Vice Chairman of the Western Zone of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Mr. Kunle Bamigboye, thanked NNPC for resuming operations at the area.
“By achieving this feat, the NNPC has a special place in the hearts of all IPMAN members in this area. We as one indivisible entity will continue to support the corporation to deliver on its mandate to Nigerians,” he said.