The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said last week that it has traced some stolen petroleum products from its pipeline network to neighbouring countries.
The NNPC, through its subsidiary company – Pipelines and Product Marketing Company (PPMC), disclosed further that about 10 pipeline vandals have so far been arrested in connection with the activities.
The arrests and discovery of the stolen products come barely two weeks after military personnel were deployed to the strategic Atlas Cove jetty in Lagos to mount surveillance.
The area manager of the PPMC, Mr. Felix Wono said that nemesis caught up on some of the vandals who have for a long time specialised in vandalising PPMC pipelines, adding that they were caught while burying about 4,000 units of 500 litre jerry cans in the ground at Ankaragba, on the outskirt of Lagos.
According to him, the vandals confessed that they have been doing it in collaboration with the whole of Ankaragba community for quite some time.
He confirmed that the suspects also disclosed that the stolen products were usually exported to neighbouring countries like Benin Republic, Ghana, Togo and other countries through Seme border, in Lagos.
Wono confirmed that pipeline vandalism has been a major threat to regular supply of petroleum products in the country adding that military men who are working with PPMC found several kegs of jerry cans in homes of residents of these communities.
He alleged that most of the communities around Atlas Cove are fond of engaging in pipeline vandalism/
"You have a situation where you see some of the people living in these communities pose as if they are fishing whereas they are harmed with dangerous equipment. "I must tell you that we have come to a situation where pipeline vandalisation in the country must be nailed because we can’t continue to take this evil act any longer as it is threatening the supply of petroleum products in the country. So it is a national issue that needs national solution," he said.