In order to dissuade members of the public from building their property on pipelines right of way, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has vowed to demolish all structures put on pipeline right of way and also confiscate such buildings.
The corporation having secured collaboration of security agencies expressed readiness with them including traditional leaders to demolish structures that are within the precinct of its Pipelines Right of Way (PROW) to reduce the incidences of pipeline infractions, insertions and curb petroleum products theft.
Mele Kyari, the Group Managing Director of NNPC who made the declaration recently during a visit to the scene of the pipeline fire at Ilepo in the Abule-Egba area of Lagos to assess the level of damage noted that the country cannot continue to loose resources and lives as a result of activities of vandals who have refused to useful to the nation. Kyari said, “anybody who was linked to pipeline vandalism either directly or indirectly, including residents of the immediate community, would henceforth face the full wrath of the law.
“Having shut down to contain the damage yesterday, we’ve now fully restored the line. We are now back on stream. Petroleum products are flowing all the way from Atlas Cove to Mosimi and to Ilorin Depot. We enjoin everyone to work with us in sustaining this,” the GMD appealed. The NNPC boss expressed appreciation to all the emergency response agencies in Lagos for their prompt response and for putting out the fire, stressing that distribution of petroleum products has been restored and that there was no cause for alarm. He called for the support of traditional rulers and other stakeholders to curb oil theft and resulting incidents of pipeline fires.
Kyari, who decried the health, environmental and other hazards caused by the vandals, especially the loss of lives, and sued for synergy of security agencies, traditional leaders, residents and all well-meaning Nigerians in curbing the ugly trend. Kyari specifically appealed to the Oba of Lagos, His Royal Majesty, Oba Rilwan Akiolu 1, to rally all the traditional leaders in the state to help secure the pipelines, stressing that collective effort was required to curb the menace. On his part, Oba Akiolu pledged his support to organise other Obas in the state to fight pipeline vandals to a standstill.
Speaking on behalf of all the security agencies in Lagos, Flag Officer, Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Oladele Daji, noted that the Nigerian Navy and other security agencies working under “Operation Mesa” were scaling up their operations to ensure that pipelines across the nation were safe and secured and to avoid recurrence of pipeline fire.