The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation NNPC, through the Group General Manager, Public Affairs, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, has condemned the illegal activities of pipeline vandals in Nigeria, while reacting to the Lagos pipeline explosion in the Ijegun suburb of the state’s largest Local Government Area, in the early hours of Thursday.
Cause of the explosion: Mr. Ndu disclosed that the pipeline explosion was caused by the illegal activities of some vandals who were scooping fuel from the pipeline.
The GGM of the petroleum corporation said, “The fire was ignited when some vandals were scooping fuel from the pipeline. We urge everybody within the community to remain calm as the situation is under control. Our team of engineers has resumed at the site to bring the situation under control”.
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Similarly, the South-West Coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mr. Ibrahim Farinloye, confirmed that the incident was caused by vandals.
Farinloye, who alerted the NNPC management on the incident, has however, called on the Safety Unit of the National oil company to shut down further supplies through the pipeline with immediate effect, in order to suffocate the fire.
According to Farinloye, “It is noted that vandals are responsible for the incident and some of them were burnt to death in the inferno. Security agencies have also cordoned off the area and residents of Ijegun have been urged to remain calm. Pipeline fire is a specialised aspect of fire management and not all firemen can handle it”.
In the latest development, Dr. Maikanti Baru has directed NNPC’s team of engineers to resume at the fire scene in order to address the situation.
According to Baru, the team of engineers are to immediately investigate and commence repairs of damages caused by the explosion.
Casualties: Sources have reported that two persons died in the incident while about 30 vehicles were burnt in the inferno.
Pipeline vandalism is a menace bedeviling the petroleum sector in Nigeria. It usually comes at huge costs to the oil company, the government and the affected communities. The costs come in form of treatment, repairs and of personnel. In 2014, about $14 billion was spent on repairs and personnel.