The Pipeline and Products Marketing Company (PPMC) has raised concern over the incessant pipeline vandalism across the country.
Nasir Imodagbe, the PPMC’s spokesman, said that activities of oil thieves, who incessantly destroyed pipelines with the aim of stealing products, were having damaging effects on the economy.
Imodagbe said the increasing incidence of pipeline vandalism, especially in the Mosimi – Ijegun – Atlas Cove line, was worrisome.
“In this month alone, we have located and fixed 73 ruptured points on that Mosimi – Ijegun – Atlas Cove line,” he said.
The spokesperson, who said that the entire stretch of that pipeline was replaced in 2010, ruled out the possibility that the rupture could have been as a result of the old age of the pipelines.
While describing the recent oil spill from pipeline at the Ijegun area in Lagos as unfortunate, he attributed the incident to pipeline sabotage by people suspected to be oil thieves.
He said though the PPMC engineers had since been mobilized to the area to fix the ruptured points, such money used for repairs would have been channeled to other meaningful projects.
He said once a pipeline was vandalized, the entire operations would be suspended.
Imodagbe said this would not only affect supply, but would make the country to incur more debts in paying demurrage on vessels laden with oil that could not discharge as at when due.
“When incidents like this occur, they have multiplier effects on the economy.
“They do not just lead to disruption in the petroleum products supply system, but cause hardship for the ordinary hardworking citizens.
“They have long-lasting devastating effects not only on the environment, but also human beings which could affect future generations,” he said.
Imodagbe appealed to Nigerians to see pipelines as national assets to be protected, noting that losses incurred through vandalism were always colossal.
He said that there was the need to support the government in its fight against oil theft and pipelines vandalism.
Imodagbe called on members of the public to be vigilant and report any suspicious movement around pipelines to the law enforcement agencies.
He said the vandals were not spirits, but human beings who lived among the people and whose activities should not be condoned.