The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC has decried the unending incidents of pipeline hacking and product theft which is currently posing great danger to the efficient distribution and supply of petroleum products in some parts of the country.
Speaking against the backdrop of the recent line break in Ije-ododo community in Ojo Local Government Area of Lagos State, Group Managing Director of NNPC Engr. Andrew Yakubu stated that if left on checked, the nefarious activities of pipeline marauders could cripple the smooth operation of the downstream sector of the industry.
Engr. Yakubu who declared open the 3rd Triennial Delegates Conference of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association, PENGASSAN, in Abuja noted that less than one week after the vital system 2B was restored after extensive repair work on the ruptured Arepo point, the Corporation has been compelled to shut the line owing to Monday’s attack on the Ije-ododo point.
“We had over 774 break points since August 2012 from Atlas Cove to Ilorin depot. Between Atlas Cove and Mosimi depot, we recorded 181 break points, from Mosimi to Ibadan, we had 421 raptured points and from Mosimi to Ore, we recorded 50 vandalized points. Also between Ibadan and Ilorin we had a total of 122 break points,’’ the GMD stated.
He informed that though the NNPC is working hard to ensure effective distribution of petroleum products across the country through increased trucking, the trucking option comes with enormous cost which is totally unsustainable.
“PIB or no PIB, privatization or no privatization, no industry can survive under this kind of arrangement,’’ he said.
Records indicate that with the incessant attacks on the nation’s vast artery of pipelines about 70 percent products distribution is through trucking or what is known in the industry parlance as bridging into the hinterlands. This requires massive fleets of petroleum product trucks of up to 1,212 trucks load out from the depots every day to meet the daily estimated national consumption.
At an average vehicle turnaround of about 8-10 days from the South to the North and re-turn, a minimum of 10,000 trucks are required to ply the roads daily.
Despite the challenge posed by the shut- down of the system 2B line as a result of the attack, the GMD remains optimistic that Nigerians would not suffer undue hardship during the yuletide season.
“We have a fallback strategy which we have already activated to ensure un-interrupted supply of products. Don’t forget that we had the worst time when the line was shut completely in August after the Arepo incident but we have restored the lines and it started working and Nigerians felt the impact, only for the vandals to strike again. But we will do our best to sustain supply,’’ he said.
Engr. Yakubu called on Nigerians across board from the community to local government and up to state government levels to embrace protection of pipelines.
“These are critical national assets and we must begin to see them in that light,’’ the GMD said.