Pipeline vandalism: Minister tasks host communities

Worried by the incessant cases of vandalism of power infrastructure across the country, the Minister of State (Power), Honourable Mohammed Wakil, has at the steering committee meeting on Escravos–Lagos Pipe-line System (ELPS), challenged the host communities on the gas trunk line to protect the facilities, assuring that government will not renege on its earlier promise to deliver on the proposed 14 to 20MW gas-fired plant meant for the area.

Speaking at the committee’s meeting in Abuja, Wakil said that the ministry will diligently perform its over-sight function in making sure that the project enjoys adequate budgetary provision and political will.

He said government would leave no stone un-turned in ensuring speedy completion of the project, he assured the people living in the host communities that government is prepared to listen to their genuine concerns.

Wakil also enjoined them to protect the gas infrastructure in their dormain, as any infraction will equally affect them, because the gas to fire their own plant will come from the same source.

He reminded the committee of the need to work assiduously, as the president’s Transformation Agenda for the power sector is under-pinned by the availability of gas for power.

The Permanent Secretary, Power, Amb. Godknows Igali, said that the Escravos – Lagos Pipe-line is strategically important as it carries gas to most gas fired power plants and the West-Africa Gas pipeline, hence it must be well protected.

Furthermore, he said the project will enhance the availability of gas, as the incidence of sabotage would be reduced, thus captive power, in line with expansion plan of Government would be realized.

The Group Executive, Gas, of NNPC, Dr. David Ige described the proposed project as one of the many intervention programmes of Government, stressing that by making Gas available, there would be increased economic activities of the people, thus guaranteeing social harmony.

He said “We are all united in protecting pipe-lines, saying that the host communities, Delta State Government, Local Governments in the area and indeed the Federal Government will use the project to build solid relationship that would protect the biggest and most important gas supply network in Nigeria”.