The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Ejigbo Satellite Depot, has condemned the incessant pipeline vandalism in Lagos.
It noted that pipelines of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited in Lagos are often vandalised by criminals.
This is as IPMAN raised the alarm over incessant activities of pipeline vandalism at Idimu, Alimosho Local Council Development Area of Lagos.
IPMAN Ejigbo Satellite Depot Chairman, Mr Akin Akinrinade, told the News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday that some vandals, who were found scooping petrol on System 2B pipeline in front of Good Luck Estate, Idimu, absconded while the security agents tried to apprehend them.
Akinrinade said, “IPMAN Satellite Depot is constrained with a heavy heart to announce the vandalisation of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) pipeline at Idimu in Alimosho LCDA, of Lagos State, in front of Good Luck Estate.
“This continuous vandalism is a setback to the effort of IPMAN and NNPCL to ensure uninterrupted supply of petrol to Lagos and the entire Southwest region of Nigeria.
“It is noteworthy that a 33,000-litre truck with registration number JND 162 XA belonging to one R. A. Oluwakemi, a marketer, loading at Ibadan depot was apprehended at the scene of petrol scooping in Idimu.
“The truck was painted in blue and white colour, with registration number JND 162 XA, and was apprehended at the scene of the vandalism,” he added.
According to Akinrinade, IPMAN appreciated the effort of the security agencies in apprehending the culprits.
“We underscore the immediate effort of the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, the Area Commander, Area “M”, Idimu.
“The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and the Nigerian Navy are also appreciated for their efforts,” he said.
He, however, urged the security agencies to ensure that the investigation is thorough and concluded to make sure justice is served.
Akinrinade said that the vandals absconded, while all their scooping equipment and the trucks were abandoned.
According to him, the items abandoned have been taken to Idimu Area “M” Command by the security agents.
“We appeal to the police to do justice and bring the culprits to justice.
“This is not the first time vandals had being arrested and trucks recovered at the scene of this nefarious act are found back on the road within a short time,” he said.
He also urged the Lagos State Government to be proactive in protecting the NNPCL pipelines within the state.
The marketer said the residents also must equally protect critical government infrastructures and provide credible and timely intelligence to IPMAN and security agencies regarding the pipelines.
He added, “Together we can make Nigeria a better place for everyone.”
The chairman added that incessant pipeline vandalism was having negative effects on the country’s economic growth.
He advised that the culprits should be dealt with by the law.
“We at the Ejigbo Satellite Depot are ready to lend a helping hand to security agents in bringing pipeline vandalism to a halt.
“We have adopted a system that does not encourage vandalism. Security agents close to where the pipeline network should also assist in patrolling around the axis,’’ he said.
Akinrinade advised that security agents, saddled with the responsibility of protecting the pipelines should have relationships with IPMAN executives and the traditional rulers in those communities.
He called on the Federal Government to impose tougher penalties against petroleum pipeline vandals, saying the act affects the socio-economic growth of the nation.
He said that IPMAN also supports the government’s efforts to ensure that the pipelines were continuously monitored.
According to him, anyone caught, trying to sabotage oil facilities, will be handed over to the law enforcement agency to face appropriate sanctions.
He urged communities along the pipeline network to always ensure that suspects apprehended are handed over to the security agents.
He assured that IPMAN members would always be ready to support NNPCL, by reporting any suspicious activity around pipelines and other oil and gas facilities.
He stressed that the corporation, on its own part, should do everything possible to ensure the safety of lives and property around its facilities.