Fred Itua, with agency report
The Senate, yesterday, asked its Ad hoc committee probing the recent Rivers State explosion to extend its scope to last week’s pipeline explosion in Ijegun area of Lagos State.
The Red Chamber took the decision at plenary in view of the similarities and occurrence of the two incidents within the same period.
These were part of the resolutions on a motion on the Ijegun pipelines explosion moved by Solomon Adeola.
The Senate also directed its Committee on Petroleum Resources, when constituted, to intensify efforts on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) to discourage vandalisation of oil pipelines
The senators observed a minute’s silence in honour of Nigerians who lost their lives in the Ijegun explosion.
They also mandated the Senate leadership to send a condolence letter to the people and government of Lagos State over the disaster.
They urged the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the Federal Ministry of Health to urgently come to the aid of families in distress at Ijegun and environs.
In addition, they asked the government agencies to attend to the medical needs of those hospitalised.
The lawmakers directed the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Pipeline and Product Marketing Company (PPMC) to improve on their security architecture for their pipelines.
The agencies were also asked to reconsider the engagement of communities and local vigilantes in such architecture.
In the name vein, the Senate, revealed that the proposed PIB will address the frequent pipeline vandalism in various parts of the country.
It also directed the NNPC and PPMC to improve its security architecture for its pipelines as well as reconsider the engagement of communities and local vigilantes in such architecture.
The positions of the Senate, followed the consideration and adoption of a motion sponsored by Adeola Olamilekan and tagged: “Ijegun pipeline explosion: Urgent need to prevent pipeline vandalisation and explosion resulting in deaths and massive destruction of properties.”
Olamilekan told his colleagues that 12 persons were burnt to death, over 40 persons sustained various degree of burns, 30 vehicles burnt, two secondary schools, namely Ijegun Junior and Senior Secondary School, 20 other buildings as well as goods worth million of naira were destroyed in the inferno that happened in Lagos State last week.
He said the immediate cause of the pipeline explosion was the activities of oil thieves’ vandalisation of pipelines for siphoning of petroleum products.
“The pipeline explosion followed the pattern of similar explosion at Abule-Egba, Ajeromi-Ifelodun in Lagos State on Wednesday, December 19, 2018 and elsewhere with similar huge losses.
“Despite the reoccurrence of these explosions over the years from mostly the activities of vandals, no enduring solution has been found to prevent the ugly incidents.
“In addition to official/general security for pipelines protection from vandalisation, the NNPC and PPMC, in time past engaged local/community vigilantes to monitor and help secure the pipelines,” he said.