The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) on Wednesday urged its members to support the Federal Government’s petroleum products pipelines protection initiatives against frequent vandalism.
Mr Chinedu Okoronkwo, the IPMAN’s National President, made the appeal in an interview in Lagos.
Okoronkwo made the appeal 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, Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), Depot and Petroleum Products Market Association (DAPPMA) and IPMAN to come together to support government’s effort in fighting 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 supported the government to protect and ensure effective surveillance of the pipelines over the years.
“I appeal to my members in the entire depots not to relent in providing adequate surveillance of the pipeline in support of the government’s efforts.
“IPMAN has donated various surveillance items like (bike, rain coat , vehicles, touch lights etc) to various pipelines surveillance team in various communities to support government’s good intention,’’ Okoronkwo said.
The IPMAN’s president, however, warned vandals to desists from such sabotage of the country’s socio-economic development which jeopardised national interest.
“IPMAN members have been informed to report any suspects to the law enforcement agents,’’ he said.
Okoronkwo also appealed to government to put stringent measures in place that would address issues relating to pipeline vandalism holistically and to curb the incessant menace.
“Strong mechanisms should be put in place to checkmate activities of pipeline vandals within NNPC pipeline network.
“We also urge the National Assembly to put in place laws that will ensure that vandals are punished.
The IPMAN’s president sought the support of host communities along the NNPC Right of Way to cooperate with the PPMC management to ensure that pipelines were protected.
He advised government to reconsider deploying of drones in crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism, adding that government should also engage communities to intensify policing of pipelines in their areas.
The IPMAN president commended government and the management of NNPC for ensuring petroleum availability during the Yuletide.
“We also commended NNPC for making sure that the nation did not experience fuel shortage at petrol stations nationwide, as it used to be in past years during the Yuletide,’’ Okoronkwo added.
Pipelines in about two locations; Abule Egba, a suburb of Lagos State and Etialapako, a suburb of Ogun, were reported to have been vandalised within the system 2B network in December.