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NNPC budgets N1.2b to curb pipeline vandals

By The Citizen
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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) corporation has said it budgeted N1.2 billion to curb the activities of  oil thieves and pipeline vandals in the country.

The Group Managing Director of NNPC, Andrew Yakubu, who was in Lagos Tuesday, to asses actions taken so far to secure the critical System 2B Pipeline at Arepo, Ogun State, said that the deployment of technology to make pipeline inaccessible to vandals would boost adequate supply of PMS all over the country.

He said that NNPC has stocked up over 2.6 billion litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) in 258 tanks of different sizes in its depots across the country, adding that the current stock of PMS would not be static, with assurance that the profile of the volume in the depots would be continually increased.

Yakubu added that the corporation was determined to ensure that the issue of pipeline vandalism became a thing of the past through its current short and long-term measures

Yakubu listed the these measures to include immediate mobiliaation of engineers to site to clamp and fix the ruptured points at Arepo to restore pumping of petroleum products; deployment of technology to make the pipeline inaccessible to oil thieves and vandals; clearing and rehabilitation of the pipeline right of way to make the area accessible and difficult for vandals to carry out their nefarious activities in hiding; provision of platforms for security men to effectively monitor movements in and around the area and collaborating with state government and other stakeholders for the effective security of the pipeline.

He said that corporation was committed to protecting the pipelines from vandals through the configuration work going on and securing the right of ways.

'We hold this project in very high esteem.  Before we embarked on this project, we were losing about N600 million every weak to pipeline vandalism.   We have handled Port Harcourt and Aba pipelines a couple of weeks ago and we were also at Warri.  This particular line runs from Atlas Cove to Ibadan and we are serious about securing the right of ways from Atlas cove to Ibadan', he said.

He further disclosed that the corporation was collaborating with all stakeholders, such as the police, the Nigerian Civil Defense Corps and the Nigerian Arm Forces to curb the activities of vandals in the country.

He added that the government has embarked on Turn Around Maintenance (TAM) of all the refineries in the country, adding that the three refineries were working optimally. 'All the three refineries are optimally operating and are yielding maximum value.  We started the TAM starting with Port Harcourt refinery.  We have mobilise the contractors. With this we have position ourselves to optimal maximisation of the nation's refineries. We are working towards reducing dependence on petroleum product importation.

The Managing Director of Petroleum Product Marketing Company Limited (PPMC), Haruna Momoh, said that with the over 2.6 billion litres of PMS, the country has no reason to experience fuel shortage for some time.

According to him, NNPC has always ensured regular supply of PMS.  'The vandals have always frustrated the efforts by NNPC to provide regular supply of PMS.  The 5,120-kilometre pipeline network are not being adequately utilised due to pipeline vandalism. We want vandals to be prosecuted and sent to jail to discourage others who may see the business as lucrative'.