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Rivers, Abia, Imo, Ebonyi, Enugu top list of pipeline vandals

By By Boniface Okoro, Umuahia on 11/07/2012

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The management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has listed 12 communities stretching across five states where pipeline vandalism is endemic. The states are Rivers, Abia, Imo, Ebonyi and Enugu.

Names of the communities were released in Aba Monday during the reopening of the NNPC depot in Osisioma on the outskirts of Aba, Abia State. The depot was shut for half a decade due to high rate of vandalism along the 54 kilometre pipeline route between Aba and Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, where a total of 1,063 points were vandalised.

Giving the names communities,  Managing Director of Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC), Prince Haruna Momoh, said: “The notorious axis of these nefarious activities include Okrika, Eleme, Kom-Kom (Imo River), Owaza, Umuojima, Obodokwe, Osisioma, Isialangwa, Nkpa, Okigwe, Ishiagu and Aninri Nenwe.”

PPMC which reopened the moribund Osisoma depot by pumping 30 million litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) popularly known as petrol into the revived depot, said the company lost N7.6 billion worth of products to vandalism since 2007 on the Port Harcourt-Aba segment of the pipeline route, adding that the nefarious activities of vandals seriously impaired the distribution line and production capacity of Port Harcourt Refinery.

The depot was finally shut down in May 2007 when the NNPC management said it could no longer bear the high rate of pipeline vandalism by people who steal petroleum products.

Momoh specifically praised Abia state governor, Chief Theodore Orji, for his relentless effort in collaborating with NNPC to reopen the Aba depot.

“The PPMC has crystalised the role of the governor into a template which we urge other governors whose states host pipelines to emulate,” he said.

An elated Governor Orji said he was overwhelmed with joy that the depot has been revived.

“It is a great relief for you and me in Abia State,” he said, lamenting that activities of vandals had engendered the long years of closure of the depot and warned against a repeat of the situation and urged traditional rulers and youths in the pipeline areas to assist government in providing security for the pipelines.

Orji pointed out that the reopening of the Aba depot would help a great deal in checking criminal activities in Abia since the closure of the depot was the root cause of kidnapping and other criminalities.

Group Managing Director of NNPC, Engr. Andrew Yakubu, who was on hand to witness the reopening ceremony, assured that while waiting for the passage of the Petroleum industry Bill (PIB) into law the NNPC would focus on rehabilitation of critical downstream infrastructure .

Other speakers, including Senators Nkechi Nwaogu and Enyinna Abaribe, all harped on the need for all stakeholders, especially the host communities, to secure the pipelines to avoid a repeat of the ugly past.

Abia State Commissioner for Petroleum and Solid Minerals Development, Chief Don Ubani, called on the PPMC to also pump other petroleum to the reactivated Aba depot to avoid turning it into a mono-product depot.

Comprising 12 storage tanks, the depot was commissioned about 33 years ago. It has a combined design capacity to hold 103,241,000 litres of petroleum products and is very strategic to distribution of petroleum products in the South East and North Eastern Nigeria.

Photo Caption
NNPC GMD, Engr. Andrew Yakubu

Source TBE

Posted 11/07/2012 10:35:37 AM


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