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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Arepo fire: PPMC allays fears of fuel scarcity



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The Petroleum Products Marketing Company Limited has said the pipeline explosion, which occurred on Saturday at Arepo, Ogun State, will not lead to another round of fuel scarcity.
Spokesman for PPMC, Mr. Nasir Imodagbe, who spoke to our correspondent in Abuja on Sunday on the pipeline fire, also said that there was an urgent need for the state government and local authorities to be involved in securing the infrastructure.
Imodagbe said there were enough products to take care of the affected areas in the days that the pipeline would remain shut.
He added that the repair of the pipeline would begin immediately since the fire had been controlled.
He said, “We have products in the areas that are affected that will take care of the demand in the few days that the pipeline is going to remain shut. Nobody should go into panic buying.”
He said the Ogun State Government as well as local authorities in the state should be involved in securing pipeline infrastructure passing through the state.
Imodagbe said in other states and communities where the Nigerian National Petroleum Cooperation had challenges with facilities security, the respective state governments and local authorities had intervened to save the situation.
He said, “We expect that the state government should brace for the challenge. The state government and local authorities should assist in securing the pipeline.
“The Inspector General of Police has set up a special task force on anti-pipeline vandalism. Local authorities need to work with the police to secure the pipelines. Pipeline vandals are human beings and they live within the communities. People know them.
“What is the state government doing? We know what the situation was in Aba. The state government took charge and today the Aba depot is working. We have had challenges in other communities such as Benin and we know the assistance we received from those places.
“Now, why is it always Arepo? What are local authorities doing to stop this? The primary responsibility of NNPC is to make products available and not to be fighting fire all the time.”
Meanwhile, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria has said the security arrangement for the nation’s petroleum pipelines is loose, making it easy for hoodlums to vandalise.
The IPMAN’s South-West Zonal Chairman, Mr. Olumide Ogunmade, who said this on Sunday, described as a national shame the latest pipeline explosion at Arepo in Ogun State, which was caused by the activities of vandals.
About 30 people were feared dead on Saturday at Arepo while siphoning petroleum products from a ruptured NNPC pipeline.
The fire reportedly broke out after the vandals started when one of them fired a shot after a quarrel.
Ogunmade said that it was shameful that this incident was happening again after the same System 2B pipeline was recently repaired at Arepo.
He stressed that it was the duty of the government to see to the security of the pipelines, stressing that NNPC must not give an impression that it could not handle the situation.
“What we are losing as a result of this vandalism is more compared to what we could have used to protect the asset. Government should live up to its responsibilities and the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company should also re-strategise,” he added.
He said Nigerians were tired of hearing the same news of pipeline vandalism, and urged government to work towards making the experience a thing of the past.
The NNPC had in November completed the repair work on the System 2B pipeline, which was vandalised in August.

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