The National President, Independent Petroleum Marketers’ Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Mr Chinedu Okoronkwo, on Tuesday called for increased security in some Lagos communities to end oil theft.
Okoronkwo told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that oil theft and pipeline vandalism in Majidun and some other communities had been costing Nigeria much revenue.
“Communities such as Majidun, Arepo, Ogolonto and Makoko in Lagos State are known for illegal oil bunkering and pipeline vandalism which need security beef-up to checkmate,’’ he said.
Okoronkwo said that the perpetrators of the illegal activities used self-propelled barges and wooden boats to ferry stolen products.
“They usually carry arms to confront anyone who attempts to stop their operations,’’ he told NAN.
The IPMAN president noted that oil theft and pipeline vandalism had become a major challenge that must be tackled adequately for economic growth.
“These illegal activities have not only led to significant losses in revenue accruable to the Federal Government, but caused damage to strategic installations.
“Pipeline vandalism has led to pollution of the maritime environment and, in some cases, fire disasters resulting in loss of lives and property.’’
He appealed to security agencies to consider establishing bases to checkmate the illegal activities in the areas.
Okoronkwo also appealed to members of the communities to alert security agents of any illegal transportation of petroleum products by suspected vandals.
“Whatever is going on in their environment should be of great interest to the residents for the economic survival of the nation,” he said.
NAN reports that the Nigerian Navy on Oct. 7 impounded more than 2,000 gallons of petroleum products at a suspected vandals’ hideout at Majidun in Ikorodu, Lagos.
The products were concealed in 50-litre jerry cans