The number of lives lost to pipeline vandalism in Nigeria has been very worrisome for the Nigerian Senate. As a result of this, the lawmakers have asked the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari to appear before its Committee on Petroleum Resources.
Kyari was summoned after a report was presented by Senator Ibrahim Gobir, the Chairman of an ad hoc committee on the explosion that rocked NNPC pipelines in Rivers and Lagos States not too long ago. This information was disclosed by Ahmad Lawan, the Senate President, according to the Punch.
The Details: The report exposed how officials of the NNPC failed to combat the Komkom pipeline leakage in Rivers State until it resulted in an explosion two days after.
The report pointed accusing fingers at some officials of the NNPC, Nigerian Pipeline and Storage Company and those of the firm involved. They were accused as accomplices in the crime of pipeline vandalism.
Disappointed at the utter negligence of the NNPC and other bodies involved, Lawan promised to investigate the matter. He also vowed to sanction, arrest and prosecute all parties involved. He gave a directive to the Senate Committee on petroleum (downstream) to invite the NNPC in order to put security measures in place to avoid such occurrence in the country.
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He also told the National Assembly to work assiduously to end pipeline vandalism by adjusting the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency Act.
“Our Committee on Petroleum (downstream) should invite the NNPC with a view to knowing what they have been doing over the years to secure the pipelines; what measures are in place and whether there is a need to review these agreements.
“This is a multi-billion dollar industry. People consciously do these things; it’s not an accident. Those who are caught in the fire or who come to scavenge are the ones who end up losing their lives. This is not acceptable.
“There must be sanctions; somebody will have to pay the price and of course, after these resolutions are sent to the executive, our committee must follow it up,” Lawan said.