Fg May Establish Special Security Force Against Pipeline Vandals – Osinbajo

Source: thewillnigeria.com

BEVERLY HILLS, April 17, (THEWILL) – The Federal Government is considering the establishment of a special security force to tackle vandalism of pipelines in the Niger Delta as the country loses about 250,000 barrels of oil per day.

This was disclosed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, in Warri, as he addressed journalists after inspection of the extent of damage caused by vandals at the Forcados Terminal in Brutu Local Government Area of Delta State.

“Efforts are being made by the federal and state governments as well as communities to tackle current vandalism challenges,” he said, adding that government was also looking beyond the present situation into what could be done in the future.

According to the Vice President, a major step the Buhari’s administration could take to forestall the perpetration of vandalism was to establish “a permanent pipeline security force.”

“If formed, the force would be armed with sophisticated weapons to ensure we contain the vandalism and overhaul security,” adding that vandalism was also affecting gas supply to the country's power stations and the government was exploring different ways to deal with the issue.

“Referring to the loss of gas supply to power plants and the loss of potential foreign exchange earning arising from the inability to produce over 250,000 barrels of oil per day, due to the damage done to the terminal, the pipeline vandalism that damaged the Forcados Terminal had led to low supply of gas, meaning most of the power plants were not functioning to maximum capacity.

“The damage done to Forcados affects our oil earnings but also as important is the power aspect. It (Forcados) is a major source of gas, about 40 percent of our gas supply is affected leading to the problem of power supply in the country.”

Also at the inspection tour were Country Chairperson, SHELL, Usage Okunbor and NNPC officials led by Bello Rabiu, the Chief Operating Officer for upstream.

In his comments, the Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, who accompanied the Vice President all through the visit, declared that: “the Forcados terminal is important to Delta State and the nation.

“That is where SPDC evacuates its products and other land operations, including Seplat evacuating products from there for sale. Now, all the production on land by SPDC is shortened.”

Story by David Oputah