In ensuring effective monitoring of the country’s pipelines surveillance, Elder Chinedu Okoronkwo, the National President, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), has appealed to its members to support the Federal Government petroleum products pipelines protection initiatives across the States against frequent vandalism.
Okoronkwo made the appeal in an interactive section with journalists on Wednesday against the backdrop of frequent damage of petroleum pipelines along the System 2B by vandals who scooped products.
He said that this became imperative for all stakeholders (MOMAN, DAPPMA and IPMAN) to come together to support government’s effort in fighting against the menace of frequent vandalism of product pipelines in Nigeria.
According to him, we (IPMAN) members in all the 21 depots across the country have continually supporting the government to protect and ensure effective surveillance of the pipelines over the years.
“I appealed to my members in the entire depots not to relent in providing adequate surveillance of the pipeline to support government surveillance team.
“IPMAN has donated various surveillance items like (bike, rain coat, vehicles, torch lights etc) to various pipelines surveillance team in various communities to support government’s good intention,’’ he said.
Okoronkwo, however, warned vandals to desists from such sabotage of the country’s socio-economic development which jeopardised national interest, adding that IPMAN members had been informed to report any suspects to the law enforcement agents.
He also appealed to government to put stringent measures in place that will address issues relating to pipeline vandalism holistically and to curb the incessant menace.
“Strong mechanism should be put in place to checkmate activities of pipeline vandals within NNPC pipeline network.
“We also urged the National Assembly to put in place laws that will ensure that vandals are punished.
IPMAN boss further sought the support of host communities long the NNPC Right of Way to cooperate with the PPMC management to ensure that pipelines are protected.
He advised government to reconsider deploying of drones in crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism.
He said that besides the introduction of drones to monitor the pipelines, government should also made efforts to patrol the country’s coastal waters; equipping and increasing the capabilities of the security services to carry out their responsibilities.
He added that government should also engage communities to intensify police pipelines in their areas.
IPMAN helmsman commended government and the management NNPC for ensuring petroleum availability during the yuletide.
“I wish to commend the government, especially President Muhammadu Buhari, for ensuring that Nigerians do not face hardship and disasters associated with fuel scarcity.
“We also commended NNPC for making sure that the nation does not experience fuel shortage at petrol stations nationwide, as it used to be in past years during the yuletide.
“We are happy that those who traveled this time around to their various villages, communities and states have no complaint about fuel,’’ Okoronkwo added.
It would be recalled that bout two locations; Abule Egba area, a suburb of Lagos and Etialapako area, a suburb of Ogun State was reported to have vandalised pipelines within the system 2B network in December.