Premium Times (Abuja)

Nigeria: NNPC Deploys Technology to Tackle Pipeline Vandalism

Determined to check the losses associated with incessant pipeline vandalism, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, has deployed the latest state-of-the-art technology to maintain comprehensive surveillance of the system 2B artery in Arepo, Ogun State.

The Arepo axis of the pipeline system has, for a long time, remained the black spot where vandalism has been flourishing.

Some NNPC staff, who went to effect repairs following the destruction of the pipeline system by vandals, were ambushed and killed in the area last year.

The Group Managing Director of NNPC, Andrew Yakubu, spoke of the new system on Tuesday when he visited the area to ascertain the progress of work on the clearance of the pipeline right of way at Arepo by the Nigerian Army Engineering Corps, code named SAPA.

According to Mr. Yakubu, an indigenous engineering firm, ENIKKOM, has been mobilized to redirect the pipeline from the reach of vandals, saying modern technology would henceforth be used to monitor the system on a regular basis.

"The engineering firm is bringing modern technology to bear on the system by burying the pipelines much deeper that usual," he said. "New pipelines will be used to change the configuration in order to keep vandals away from NNPC's critical infrastructure."

To continue the improvement of the pipelines right of way, the NNPC has also built a watch tower, and police post in the area to ensure that the hot spots would be completely secured and prevent the loss of lives.

He said NNPC would also build a long wide platform to ensure easy access at anytime for the security forces over the swamps.

The NNPC helmsman observed that the project has a very high cost benefit to the Corporation, poining out that the NNPC records a loss of about N600 million every week as a result of activities of vandals along the System 2B system.

Mr. Yakubu said the project has the full support of President Goodluck Jonathan and the top leadership of the security agencies and appealed to state government, local government, communities and other stakeholders to join hands with the NNPC to stamp out pipeline vandalism from the economy.

The oil corporation boss confirmed that all the refineries were running at different levels of effectiveness, noting that turn around maintenance, TAM, on Port Harcourt refinery has been scheduled for April this year.

The Managing Director of the Pipelines and Products marketing Company, PPMC, Haruna Momoh, said with the 258 tanks in the 21 depots across the country, with a holding capacity of 2.6 billion litres of petroleum products and with the over 5,000 kilomrtres network of pipelines, the NNPC is ready to constantly provide Nigerians with petrol.

He assured Nigerians that the NNPC would continue to do all within its ability to ensure that fuel queues remain a thing of the past.

Speaking on behalf of the Chief of Army Staff, Emeka Okonkwo said it is the duty of the army to support civil authority and that the army is in Arepo to re-establish the right of way of the NNPC pipeline from Mosimi to Ibadan within ninety days assuring that the military engineers would deliver on its mandate.

The NNPC had mobilized the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Police and the Nigerian Civil Defence Corps to the NNPC System 2B artery in Arepo after the January 12 pipeline break to check the tide of pipeline hacking in the area.

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