Thursday, July 11,2019
The Senate yesterday directed the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Pipeline and Product Marketing Company (PPMC) to improve its security network for its pipelines as a means to halt increasing cases of pipeline explosions.
The lawmakers also asked NNPC and PPMC to reconsider the engagement communities and local vigilantes in its security architecture.
The resolution was sequel to the adoption of a motion titled “Ijegun pipeline explosion: Urgent need to prevent pipeline vandalism and explosion resulting in deaths and massive destruction of property” sponsored by Senator Solomon Adeola (Lagos West).
n his lead debate, Adeola noted the disastrous pipeline explosion in Ijegun, Alimosho local government in the early hours of last Thursday.
He further noted that in the ensuing inferno, 12 persons were burnt to death, over 40 persons sustained various degrees of burns, 30 vehicles were burnt, two secondary schools namely Ijegun Junior and Senior Secondary School, 20 other buildings as well as goods worth millions of naira were all destroyed in the fire.
He observed that the immediate cause of the pipeline explosion was the activities of oil thieves’ vandalisation of pipelines for siphoning of petroleum products.
He expressed worry that the pipeline explosion in Ijegun followed the pattern of similar explosion at Abule- Egba, Ajeromi- Ifelodun in Lagos State on Wednesday December 19, 2018 and elsewhere with similar huge losses.
He regretted that despite the reoccurrence of these explosions over the years from mostly the activities of vandals, no enduring solution has been found to prevent the ugly incidents;
He noted that he is also aware that in addition to general security for pipelines protection from vandalisation, the NNPC, PPMC, in time past engaged local/ community vigilantes to monitor and help secure the pipelines.
In her contribution, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, said that Lagos State should be assisted in term of infrastructure.
She hinted that she would reintroduce the special status bill for Lagos, adding that over 50 per cent of the Value.
She said that she is only asking that one per cent of the Consolidated Revenue Fund be devoted to Lagos State for the maintenance of infrastructure.
She noted that with a population of over 20 million people, special attention should be paid to Lagos State.
She observed a minute silence in honour of innocent Nigerians that lost their lives in the explosion.
Besides, the Senate has resolved to write a condolence letter to the people and Government of Lagos State for the disaster and loss of lives.
The National Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Ministry of Health, it said, should urgently come to the aid of families in distress at Ijegun and environs as well as attend to the medical needs of those that were hospitalised.
It agreed that the Ijegun pipeline explosion should be added to the investigative mandate of the ad-hoc committee set up by it on Rivers State explosion in view of their similarities and occurrence at almost the same period of time.