The Baale of Ijeododo Community in Lagos State, Alhaji Tajudeen Subair-Ododo, on Friday urged the Federal Government to beef up security around its pipelines in the community.
Subair-Ododo made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, against the backdrop of a pipeline explosion that occurred in the community on Thursday night.
NAN reports that another pipeline explosion occurred around 9.45 p.m. on Thursday, while the Nigerian National Petroleum Community (NNPC) confirmed that the product lines had been switched off, to reduce fire pressure.
According to him, the only way to curb incessant pipeline vandalism around the community is when government beefs up security to monitor the pipeline network on a 24-hour, round-the-clock, basis.
The traditional ruler said that oftentimes, vandals used the opportunity of the absence of any security presence to perpetuate illegality in the area.
He said that the explosion was caused by the activities of pipeline vandals, who have continuously vandalised the pipelines in the community.
However, the spokesman of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mr Ibrahim Farinloye, confirmed to NAN that the explosion was caused by vandals.
He said that the vandals broke into the pipeline to scoop some products around 9:00 p.m. on Thursday.
Farinloye said that no causality was recorded, adding that the agency would be visiting the scene on Friday to ascertain the level of damage from the explosion.
He said that the suspected vandals encroached into the NNPC’s Right Of Way (ROW) and Safety Unit, but that fire fighters were trying to stop the inferno.
Meanwhile supply of products has been shut down.
NNPC authorities have switched off the valves to stop further supply to the system and to suffocate the fire, to enable fire fighters battle the fire.
NAN reports that NNPC had recorded over 775 breakage points on the pipeline since August 2012.
Records from the NNPC showed that between Atlas Cove and the Mosimi Depot, a total of 182 breakage points had been recorded.
A total of 421 rupture points have been recorded between the Mosimi depot and the Ibadan depot, while the Mosimi to Ore stretch has recorded 50 vandalised points.
Also, the Ibadan/Ilorin stretch of the pipeline has recorded a total of 122 breakage points.
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