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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Nigeria Loses N105Bn Annually To Pipelines Vandalisation – Presidency

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…Appeals To Nigerians To Help Secure Pipelines

The Presidency has raised the alarm that petroleum supply crises looms in the country as Federal Government is losing an average revenue of over N105 billion worth of products and crude to pipeline vandals annually across 5,120 kilometres of pipelines in Nigeria.

The revelation is coming on the heels of discoveries that the emerging queues in petrol stations is due to reluctance by Independent Petroleum Marketers of Nigeria (IPMAN) and stakeholders in the chain of distribution of petroleum products in the country to continue the importation of PMS and other products, as a result of the non-payment of subsidy money due to them by the Ministry of Finance.

A top Presidency source who spoke to journalists in Abuja on Sunday said “the current fuel supply and distribution situation being experienced by Nigerians is traceable to recent vandalisation of our products pipeline at Arepo; where Pipeline Products and Marketing Company (PPMC) engineers who went for repairs were shot and three of them killed. As a result of security challenges, PPMC is yet to gain access to the vandalised points to effect repairs”.

The said point, according to the source,” is along the Atlas Cove-Mosimi line that feeds five (5) Depots and accounts for products supply to the whole of the Southwest region and also contributes to about 60 per cent of total bridging to the North”.

The Presidency source who spoke on condition of anonymity argued that there was no way Nigeria with a total land mass of about 910,770 sq KM and with a population of about 167 million can effectively manage the supply and distribution of petroleum products across the country using trucks.

The source added that with adequate security of the pipelines “a robust pipeline network of about 5,120 KM across the nation, 21 loading depots and 19 pumping stations,” the nation will be guaranteed stable and steady supply and distribution of petroleum products.

The source however noted that the over $9 billion assets have been unused due to the incessant pipeline vandalisation but “the present management of PPMC since it took over about 20 months ago is doing all it can to resuscitate some of these abandoned pipelines. Without the support of security agencies, we cannot achieve much”.

Once the pipelines are available, the source said “PPMC is ready to pump all products to the Depots located in all regions of the country. It is only when the pipelines are not available that they are compelled to use other methods to make the products available. In the absence of security, the vandals have a field day and prevent the pipelines from functioning effectively”.

The Presidency source added that despite the challenges “PPMC have re-commissioned Kaduna-Suleja line, Kaduna-Kano line, Suleja-Minna line, Kaduna-Gusau line, Kaduna-Jos line and Port Harcourt-Aba line and Warri-Benin line. With these lines functioning, NNPC have been able to distribute products to Suleja, Kano, Minna, Jos, Gusau and Aba Depots. Some of these Depots have not worked for over 15 years. It is noteworthy that in spite of the numerous challenges facing the NNPC in maintaining pipelines, products like AGO and DPK that have not been pumped to these Depots has been achieved”.

“The successes achieved with the re-activation and rehabilitation of the above mentioned lines is rooted in the strong belief that the pipelines are by far the safest, most efficient, quickest, cost effective means to distribute products especially for a country as large as ours,” the source stated.

Our investigation revealed that to distribute the current contribution of about 35 million litres of PMS daily by NNPC to the national demand for example, about 1,061 trucks need to ply the roads daily.

“With our bad roads, robbers and environmental considerations in having the trucks travel length and breadth of this large country, what effects can that achieve?,” the source queried.

Meanwhile, the Presidency however appealed to Nigerians to help government secure the pipelines saying that the assets belong to them.

“Nigerians must not forget that energy worldwide is regarded as National Asset. A threat to energy supply is often viewed as a threat to national security. The nation cannot allow persons or group of persons threaten what is collectively ours. It should be considered as security risk and economic sabotage” the source said.

The government called for a redoubled effort from the side of security operatives to help in the protection of the pipelines.

An industry source who also prefers anonymity lamented that with increase in cases of pipeline vandalism in the last two decades ago, “how many culprits have been apprehended and successfully prosecuted; except for the small time jerry can boys while the main players who use valves to siphon products with barges and with trucks are left to enjoy their loot. These are pertinent questions we should ask ourselves as a nation rather than blame the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) or an individual. The problems are rather systemic!”

The source urged the present crop of PPMC management that took over in February, 2011 to continue to improve on their distribution chain; saying that “no major fuel supply and distribution issues have been encountered in the last 20 months except pocket of queues caused by the non-payment of subsidy money to marketers”.

The source said “since the heated issue of subsidy began in early 2012, NNPC/PPMC has solely sustained Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) supply to the Nigerian market as Marketers have refused to bring in products. Despite that singular effort by PPMC, supplies have been robust and hitch free with PMS available across the nation at a uniform price”.

“Nigerians should cast their minds back to our immediate past, to the horrible period of 2009-2010 when Nigerians were sleeping in fuel stations looking for fuel to buy. All that has now become a thing of the past; thanks to this administration and the current Management of PPMC” the source noted.

 

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